If you haven’t noticed, voice technology is now very much a thing. Since Amazon released that virtual assistant, Alexa (to the hatred of every other person named Alexa on Earth) smart home tech has slowly integrated itself into our lives. And our cars.
Now – naturally – every manufacturer is trying to shove a digital assistant in the dashboard. Including Skoda, who has now taught Alexa how to charge the Citigo e and Superb plug-in hybrid, as well as check your air-conditioning, whether your windows are opened or closed and whether your oil or brake pads need changing all from the comfort of… well, wherever the hell you have wifi or cellular connection.
All you’ve got to do is a) own a Skoda, b) have an Alexa account and c) the ability to say, “Alexa, ask Skoda, I want to start charging my car”, in an authoritative yet patronising voice. She’ll then no doubt tell you the weather in Bhutan. Or how best to cook a boiled egg. Where you’ll repeat yourself until she actually starts charging your car. And you’ll think the service is fantastic.
There are other commands she can do too, including checking the remaining oil level, revealing where you parked the car (useful for those with dementia) and whether your whip needs a service, whether the doors are closed, lights are off and if it’s locked.
These updates come as part of the upgraded Skoda Connect system, with more technology updates due to be rolled out across the rest of the range, including the Octavia iV and Octavia iV vRS plug-in hybrids, later this year. But don’t worry if your digital girlfriend Google Home is getting jealous, Skoda will be adding the ability to start and stop charging and control air conditioning to that in the next few weeks. When we’ll ask Alexa to take the car to pop to the shops for a pint of milk is still unknown. But surely can’t be that far off. Alexa just needs to get her driving licence.