Skoda X, the Brand's New Center for In-Car Digital Technologies and Services, Is Now Live

Automakers are increasingly focusing on their vehicles' digital services. Take Skoda, for instance. The company launched Skoda X, a new center for developing in-car digital services and smart technologies based in Prague, Czech Republic.
Skoda X - Pay to Fuel 6 photos
Photo: Skoda
Pay to FuelHoppyGo peer-to-peer car sharingHoppyGo peer-to-peer car sharingSecond Life Battery StorageSecond Life Battery Storage
Skoda X will deliver products across the automaker's entire range, including the Enyaq iV model, to increase owner convenience. The technology center's first services being tested include the HoppyGo peer-to-peer car hire, allowing private owners to offer their cars as a rental for other individuals. On the opposite side of the spectrum, people who don't want to own a vehicle full-time can benefit from car-sharing.

A wide variety of vehicles are available, depending on what the user needs. Skoda X is looking to expand the system, thus enabling Skoda dealers to allow potential customers to perform extended test drives of vehicles before making their minds up to buy.

Skoda X is also working on a new energy storage facility made of repurposed battery models obtained from previous Enyaq iV models. The goal is to create standalone charging stations for EVs and a different charging infrastructure where a great number of charging stations wouldn't work. What's more, the recycled batteries' lives are extended for ten years or even more, as less stress is placed on them.

Several of Skoda's in-car technologies are already being trialed across Europe, and Skoda X will be the central facility for optimizing these services. For instance, the brand's new Pay to Fuel service allows customers to save time by, as the name suggests, paying for fuel without waiting in queues.

Second Life Battery Storage
Photo: Skoda
Pay to Fuel utilizes the car's GPS to detect the vehicle's location. Afterward, the customer must enter the pump number and pay using the credit card stored in the infotainment system. The service will soon be available through the vehicle's infotainment system and via an iOS or Android app.

Another example is DigiCert or Digital Certificate – it provides customers with an extensive range of vehicle data, instrumental when selling the car. The data includes vehicle identification, technical specs, current mileage, prepaid service, warranty extensions, and the complete service history.

Instead of the customers getting all this info by themselves, Skoda compiles everything into a single place. That also means customers don't have to go to the dealer to pay for individual certificates. Moreover, the buyer will have more confidence in the vehicle and its seller, ultimately raising the resale value. So, it's a win for all parties involved.

Other of Skoda X's initiatives include the Offers and Pay to Park services. Offers provides customers with real-time offers from premium partners while on the road, based on the vehicle's GPS location, frequently used routes, and other vehicle data. Pay to Park automatically identifies the parking zone and automatically takes care of the payment.

Skoda has successfully trialed these systems and will soon be rolled out across European markets. For instance, DigiCert is already available in all European markets, while Offers is available in select countries. What's more, the Charging Hub is currently being piloted in the Czech Republic.
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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
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Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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