A Pledge to Right the Technological Wrongs

Human beings are known for many different things, but most importantly of all, they are known for getting better on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve, no matter the situation, has empowered us to achieve some huge milestones, with technology appearing as quite a major member of the group. The reason why we hold technology in such a high regard is, by and large, predicated upon its skill-set, which guided us towards a reality that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nevertheless, if we look beyond the surface for a second, it will become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired from the way we applied those skills across a real world environment. The latter component, in fact, did a lot to give the creation a spectrum-wide presence and start what was a full-blown tech revolution. Of course, this revolution then went on to scale up the human experience from all conceivable directions, but even after realizing a feat so notable, technology will somehow continue to bring out the right goods. Now, while the same has turned increasingly evident over the recent past, Volkswagen’s latest move just wrote an unusual chapter for that proverbial trajectory, a chapter which can feasibly reshape technology’s future around the automotive space.

Volkswagen has officially announced some changes to its Car-Net security system in light of the technology delaying law enforcement from using the service to locate a vehicle stolen with the victim’s child still inside. As a of its pledge, the automotive giant will deliver at your disposal five years of free Car-Net Safe & Secure connected emergency services, including automatic crash notifications, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle locator, and anti-theft alerts. To give you a lowdown on Volkswagen’s Car-Net security system, it is basically a collection of technologies and services that make it possible for customers to gain a remote control over their vehicle. Now, one might argue how the system’s basic package was already free for the first five years on compatible 2020 or newer VW models, but it is worth noting that the add-on for emergency services mandated the user to have a paid subscription.

Moving to the incident which caused it all, on 23rd Feburary 2023, Volkswagen Atlas belonging to a pregnant mother was stolen from a driveway in a violent carjacking in Libertyville, Illinois, with her two-year-old child still inside the car. This prompted local authorities to contact VW’s Car-Net service and obtain the vehicle’s tracking information. However, rather than ensuring instant dispatch of the relevant information, a representative informed the police that the vehicle’s free trial had lapsed, and refused to help until a $150 fee was paid to restart the coverage.

“The detective had to work out getting a credit card number and then call the representative back to pay the $150 and at that time the representative provided the GPS location of the vehicle,” said Christopher Covelli, Lake County Deputy Chief. “Obviously, it’s a major concern when there’s information that could potentially save a life and there are major hurdles that one has to jump over to try to get that information.”

When quizzed regarding the incident, Volkswagen responded:

Volkswagen must and will do better for everyone that trusts our brand and for the law enforcement officials tasked with protecting us. In addition to a full investigation of what went wrong and actions taken to address the failure, we want to make it right for the future.”

Available for for “most model year 2020 to 2023 vehicles”, the customer can activate Car-Net coverage by simply setting up a myVW account and accepting the Terms of Service. Once they do so, the feature will remain accessible for five years from either the sale date or June 1st, 2023, whichever is later.

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