Car Tech Smarts: Understanding Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling Connectivity

The odds are high that there are plenty of people around who have heard about Bluetooth technology but don’t really understand all of its capabilities.

If you have Bluetooth connectivity in your car, you probably know that you can connect your phone for hands-free calling, but there are actually a lot more things you can do besides making calls.

Here is the lowdown on what Bluetooth offers and how to make the most of the technology, including an overview of how the technology has evolved, gaining access to your smartphone apps and a look at some of the key features that you should be able to access when you pair your device.

Safety first when you use this tech-forward safety device

If you’re thinking about buying a new car like the Citroen C1, for example, it’s highly likely to come fully loaded with tech gadgets as part of the deal that either form part of the engine management system or give you a safer and better driving experience.

At the forefront of that list of tech will be Bluetooth connectivity.

What you get when you connect your smartphone with the Bluetooth system in your car is a totally wireless system that opens up access to a range of calling functions from your phone through your vehicle controls, meaning you can keep your hands on the wheel and don’t need to pick up your handset at all.

Industry standard

Bluetooth is a technology that dates back some 20 years (the first mobile phone equipped with Bluetooth was shipped out to customers back in 2000), but during that period, it has become the default option and industry standard for hands-free options.

There are a couple of good reasons why Bluetooth is the leader in this type of technology.

The first is that Bluetooth hardware uses frequencies that broadcast at reasonably low power, which means you don’t drain your handset battery using it and the low frequency reduces the risk of potentially harmful radiation.

The other significant reason why Bluetooth technology has managed to eclipse its potential rivals is that it has evolved over time, and the latest version now offers you almost unrivaled functionality and the ability to interface with a wide range of different devices.

Open up your apps

If you have a smartphone, you’re probabbly using a number of different apps, and another positive aspect about Bluetooth connectivity is the fact that thanks to specialized protocols, you can connect to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify with ease.

Exchanging files, sending text messages and even reading text messages on your infotainment unit in the car all become possible when you connect your phone to your car via Bluetooth.

Getting started

You will have to connect your handset to the Bluetooth system in your car, and this is normally a one-time deal when you pair it with the system.

Once you have completed the setup process, your car and handset should connect with each other automatically every time you step into your vehicle, making it fast and convenient to access all of your services within moments of climbing in and getting ready to drive off.

Check out the features

Although it is highly likely that a newer car model will have Bluetooth connectivity as a standard feature, each different make and model will probably offer different interface options.

It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with all these options before you start driving for the first time with your handset connected, as it would be dangerous to be distracted while trying to work out how a particular function works.

Use the vehicle handbook to work out how to connect your handset via Bluetooth if you are struggling to pair the devices. Also, take a look at what controls you have on your steering wheel, how the dashboard controls work and whether you have touchscreen control.

Try making a hands-free call before you set off so that you can see how it all works and if you have a vehicle that offers some extra features; you can also see how to read your text messages safely on your vehicle display screen or how to stream your favorite tracks from your smartphone.

Other features include voice activation, where you don’t have to input the number to call, and you might even be able to download Facebook and Twitter feeds that are then read aloud to you while you are driving. All of these features and more are available to you when you take advantage of Bluetooth technology in your car.

Marco Marlia is the CEO and co-founder of MotorK, the most important lead generation company in Italy for the automotive industry. He holds a degree in Economics, Financial Markets and Institutions from Bocconi University of Milan, Italy. He started his first professional experience during College working for Merrill Lynch IPCG. Later, he co-founded several companies like DriveK, a unique car configurator for people choosing a car across Europe. DealerK is the branch of MotorK devoted to car dealers with over 2,000 clients and it’s the only automotive business in Italy certified as a Google Premium Partner. Marco Marlia is the co-author of the following books: Oltre Wikipedia (Beyond Wikipedia) and E-learning e Piccole e Medie Imprese (E-learning and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises).