Bluetooth: in-car tech explained

Have you ever wondered how Bluetooth works and how it has developed over the years? Well you’re in luck! We’ve put together a handy guide on how this technology works.

Bluetooth has been around for a couple of decades now. The first hands-free Bluetooth kit emerged in 2001, and yet the technology still feels recent.

Mind you; it was named after a Viking king known as Harald “Blatand” Gormsson (Harald Bluetooth) who died more than a thousand years ago! He’s credited with unifying Scandinavia.

Now, we bet you didn’t know that?

How does Bluetooth work?

These days, Bluetooth is integrated with your car, and is far from just being a way to let you make telephone calls via a hands-free headset. But how does it work? Well, in layman’s terms, Bluetooth enables connectivity between devices wirelessly, by way of radio waves.

Most new vehicles with an infotainment system will have Bluetooth connectivity as a feature. It’s a quick way of hooking up your smartphone to your car’s infotainment unit, so you can stream music and make or receive calls on the move without touching your handset.

How to connect your smartphone with Bluetooth

To set Bluetooth up, begin the pairing procedure on your vehicle’s infotainment system. This can be accessed via “connection” or “media”, depending on the car you’re leasing from the Motability Scheme. 

Ensure Bluetooth on your smartphone is turned on, and that it’s able to be seen. Once your vehicle has discovered your phone, you’ll need to accept that the PIN code shown on your car’s system and your smartphone tallies. Your motor and smartphone should now be paired.

Most new cars will memorise your Bluetooth connection, so if it’s switched on, your smartphone should synchronise with your vehicle as soon as you get in.

How technology has developed

Of course, technology doesn’t stand still, and in many new cars you only need Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to make calls, answer texts via voice commands or access music on your phone. Sorry, Bluetooth!

How come? Well, fundamentally, they are apps that mirror the functions of your smartphone and run on your vehicle’s computer interface. So long as you have an iPhone, you can access Apple CarPlay, and if you have an Android device, well, you can use Android Auto.

For CarPlay, you plug your iPhone into your car using a USB cable, and that’s it. With Android Auto, again, just connect your phone to your vehicle, and your Android apps show up on the car’s screen.

Car search

If you’re thinking about joining the Motability Scheme, or you’re changing your Scheme vehicle, check out our range of cars

The Motability Scheme enables you to exchange all or a portion of your mobility allowance for leasing a car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), powered wheelchair or scooter. For further information, please use our eligibility checker and ask for a free information pack.

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