Winnipeg Free Press

Smartphones changing the way we interact with our vehicles

by Jim KerrAUTO TECH  . Apr 06 2018
LincolnThe 2019 Lincoln Aviator will allow owners to unlock the doors and start the vehicle from their smartphone.


The 2019 Lincoln Aviator will allow owners to unlock the doors and start the vehicle from their smartphone.

Smartphones have changed the way we interact with others. We can send texts, pictures or videos and purchase services and products online easier than ever before.

Now smartphones are also changing how we interact with our vehicles.

In the recent past, we could use smartphone apps to unlock vehicles, make service appointments and check vehicle status, but Lincoln is about to take it a big step forward with the new 2019 Lincoln Aviator. This three row mid-size luxury SUV will be the first in the marketplace to enable owners to unlock the doors and start the vehicle from their smartphone, substituting for the wireless keyfob we have grown accustomed to.

The Aviator’s key fob can actually remain at home. Drivers can activate a locator chirp to find their Aviator in a crowded parking lot, then as the vehicle is approached, one of several antennas on the Aviator will detect the smartphone, turn on the approach lighting and unlock the door. Once inside the ignition system recognizes the drivers smartphone and with a press of the start button you are on your way.

Several redundancies have been built into the Aviator, in case you have lost your phone or run the battery down. A keypad on the driver’s door lets you unlock the vehicle with your own personalized combination code. This feature has been on many previous vehicles from the company and is just as useful if you wish to lock your phone or keys in the vehicle while at a park or the beach.

Once you are inside the vehicle, you can then enter your personal code into the dashboard screen to allow the Aviator to start.

If your phone battery is dead, the wireless phone pad in the console can be used to recharge it — and if you have lost your phone, you can use the dashboard display to disable the phone unlock and engine start features.

Using forward facing camera technology the Aviator can also look ahead at the road and Lincoln’s Suspension Preview Technology will automatically adjust suspension settings to reduce the impact of potholes or roadway bumps on vehicle occupants, making for a more relaxed drive.

With the rear camera and object detection sensors, the Aviator can automatically apply the brakes when the vehicle is in reverse to stop if an obstacle in the path is detected.

Aviator will also come equipped with Lincoln Co-Pilot360 as standard equipment, this technology uses camera and radars to provide automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, reverse camera display, blind spot information system with cross traffic alert and automatic high beam/low beam head-lamp operation.

Included in the Aviator will be the latest version of SYNC, which will debut a selection of considerate prompts to aid the driver.

Displaying helpful information on the 12-inch cluster display, the system will recommend actions based on vehicle operation. For example, if the vehicle is low on fuel, the system will automatically connect to the navigation system and display the closest gas stations to choose from.