I just got into a Mercedes-Benz SLK, set the navigation to home, and it turned on the heater in my house. This is the first step on the path to the future we were promised in all those GM Motoramas so many years ago.
Just ahead of Google's massive developers' conference in San Francisco, Mercedes released an app – ironically – for Apple's iOS that links up your iPhone, your Benz, and your net-connected Nest home thermostat to make sure it's the perfect temperature when you walk in the door.
It works exactly like you'd expect. You set your destination – work or home – in the nav and it asks what temperature you want. The Mercedes DriveStyle iPhone app connects with the accompanying Nest app and adjusts the temp accordingly. There's also an opt-in geo-fence function that tracks where you're at and only starts cranking the heat or A/C until your within a pre-set distance. Stop by the store on your way home and it won't start burning gas/electricity until it's necessary.
Currently, it isn't automatic, which seems ridiculous. Worse, there are no voice controls, so you have to fiddle with the knob to get the temp set, which is even more problematic if you have multiple Nests in multiple rooms. But that's something Mercedes will add in the future, and so is an Android version, which I'm told will arrive in the next few months.
Why do you want this? What do you care? If your idea of the perfect driving experience is a vintage RX-7 and a case of oil it's maybe not for you, but if you want your car to be integrated into your life this is where it starts.
Imagine you've got a garage for your off-roader and you want it nice and toasty when you get home so you can turn a wrench on it? This is step one in that process.