Its always fun to find/hear about new features. Whether that is a feature of your car, phone, computer, whatever. In the past your discovery of said new feature was due to re-reading the manual or finding some tidbit online as your device didn’t get an update. Today, however, new features are found by simple software updates (lately every 6 months or so you get a whole bunch of new Windows 10 features–and bugs–with their semi-annual updates). Tesla has been in on this game from day one issuing software updates to their cars on a regular basis (including introducing features such as Monty Python searching, and making the car fart ! LOL).
Traditional OEM’s haven’t joined the party just yet as not many will do an over the air update to the same extent as Tesla (Ford does allow you to download Sync updates to a thumb drive and it appears that Chevy can update the radio via WiFi–my Bolt hasn’t done that yet). One easy way traditional OEM’s have been able to get in on this game is via their mobile apps: These are regularly updated and, sometimes, with new features.
I happened to be reading an Inside EVs article about GM partnering with several charging providers and read this little nugget of info:
The myChevrolet app was recently updated to enable projection of the Energy Assist feature to the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay2 and Android Auto3 for drivers with model year 2017 or newer Bolt EVs.Inside EVs
Since I have an Android phone I only see the five buttons across the bottom of the screen: Map, Phone, Home, Audio, and “Car”. The Home button really only shows you a list of current things (much like the notification menu) so where could they have hidden this new menu? (On Apple Car play you get a proper home screen with icons–I’m sure the new feature just shows up as a new icon although I haven’t plugged an iPhone in to find out.)
Well after poking at the screen for a few minutes it turns out that you just have to hit the “Car” button and it lists either “return to native” (e.g. the car’s normal screen), or myChevrolet. When you hit myChevrolet you see this:
Woa..a place to show the battery % value (at left) and what it would be if you drove to home or work. Cool! But wait, there is more, tapping on the left panel (“My Energy Level”) shows the Energy Assist screen:
This is the same “how far can I go” display that you can see on the app but in the car. Better yet you see your current battery %, and your home and work programmed points. If you tap on the triangle position indicator (which seems to be hidden in this image) it zooms in to a block level view for a minute or so. You can also pinch to zoom, drag to pan, etc. on this screen. Tapping the lightning bolt at bottom left pops up a list of the closest chargers (and what your battery level would be if you drove there from your current position).
Of course this display isn’t without its bugs: Several times while exploring the feature (and leaving the map display up while driving) I would get a “lost vehicle data, next time you’re parked unplug and replug your phone to restore” (or something to that affect) message.
Still its nice having that “how far can I go” map displayed on the main screen in the car. Almost makes you want to take another road trip….