From Hands-free
to Always Online

From Hands-free <br>to Always Online

Cars have long been so much more than four wheels and a steering wheel. Just about everyone now takes the connection between their phone and car for granted. How did connectivity first see the light of day in ŠKODAs? And what does the future hold for us?

  • 2000


    Phoning while driving has never been safe, so when mobile phones arrived on the scene the big question was how to stay connected at the wheel without having to hold the phone. The answer? Handsfree phone kits. You slid your phone into a holder on the dashboard and connected with the head unit via a cable. ŠKODA started fitting its first handsfree sets in 2000. These were specifically designed for the Nokia 6210i and were introduced with the facelifted first-generation OCTAVIA.

  • 2004

    Bluetooth handsfree

    The cable connection soon proved to be impractical and, anyway, the dashboard phone holder only got in the way. This paved the way for handsfree sets to connect with the car by harnessing Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth, the open standard for wireless communication, got its name from the 10th-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth, who was acclaimed as a diplomat who brought war-riven tribes to the negotiating table to make peace – in other words, he facilitated mutual communication, just like Bluetooth does today. This technology debuted at ŠKODA in 2004, when it was made available with the second-generation OCTAVIA.

  • 2008

    Bluetooth audiostreaming
    (music from a mobile)

    Mobile phones gradually became more than just devices used for calls and texting, and the way people used them in cars evolved, too. Bluetooth technology let drivers listen to their favourite music from their phone via the car’s built-in loudspeakers. The first ŠKODA to offer this function was the second-generation ŠKODA SUPERB in 2008.

  • 2009

    USB, iPod
    (music from dedicated players)

    Besides mobile phones, people increasingly used other devices to listen to their favourite songs, with Apple’s iPod leading the way. In-car entertainment systems were therefore designed so that devices other than mobile phones could be connected, using the Mitsumi connector and reduction cables for USB or the iPod. The first ŠKODA to feature this innovation was the ŠKODA YETI in 2009. The non-standard Mitsumi connector and reduction cables used to connect various music sources were then replaced with a standard USB connector in 2012: this solution made its debut at ŠKODA in the RAPID.

  • 2014

    SmartGate, MirrorLink

    Perfect interconnection between mobile devices and cars came with smart multimedia systems. In ŠKODA vehicles, these systems are known as SmartGate and MirrorLink. MirrorLink makes it possible to “mirror” the phone display on the car’s infotainment screen, i.e. the screen shows the mobile app normally run in the phone, such as navigation or an online radio station. SmartGate works in the opposite direction, letting drivers download driving data to their phone in order to use a range of in-car applications, such as fuel consumption monitoring. ŠKODA has been offering these systems since the launch of the third-generation FABIA in 2014.

  • 2015

    SmartLink+ including CarPlay, AndroidAuto

    The CITIGO apart, all cars in the 2015 model year were not only given new designs and engines, but also incorporated new-generation connectivity going by the name of SmartLink+. Besides MirrorLink and SmartGate, this solution also offers support for Apple CarPlay and Google AndroidAuto. Compared to the previous solution, SmartLink+ supports a much more extensive range of mobile phones connectable with the vehicle.

  • 2016

    ŠKODA Connect
    (Online services)

    ŠKODA Connect, a whole new dimension in connectivity, allows you to control certain functions of your car from a smartphone or smartwatch. For example, you can remotely check the fuel level in the tank and driving data relevant to your last trip, see whether the car is locked, and find where it’s parked. You can make plans for your next trip and how to get there from the comfort of your home, and then send this data directly to the car’s navigation system. ŠKODA Connect Time Manager checks your diary and, depending on the traffic situation, tells you exactly when you need to leave in order to make your next appointment on time. ŠKODA Connect became part of ŠKODA’s connectivity portfolio in late 2016 in the ŠKODA KODIAQ, and was then introduced to all other models (except for CITIGO) over the following six months.

  • 2018


    ŠKODA Connect Alexa Skill offers customers increased greater convenience when communicating with their vehicle. They can communicate from home via the Amazon Echo speaker, or remotely – no matter where they are – via the Alexa app in their smartphone, in order to check the total mileage, the fuel level, whether the windows are open or closed, whether the car is locked and where it is parked. Alexa can also report on average consumption, average sped and the distance covered using a daily mileage counter. This communication is available in English, German and French.