At the end of this month, Audiovox will ship the Car Connection gadget powered by Sprint that was shown earlier this year—a product that could produce plus business for retailers down the line, said Audiovox.
It plugs into the OBDII port and gives you teen tracking, a car finder, geofencing and speed alerts
It gives you a vehicle health report sent to your phone to learn why the check engine light went on. You are told if you need immediate service. You can look at the exact error codes for your vehicle.
The second production run of the Car Connection will have a port on the side so it may plug into a remote start system and act as a remote-start-from-a-phone module. It will also remotely unlock doors.
Finally, and here’s where the insurance companies come in, the device uses 3 different accelerometers to track your driving, or your teen’s driving. You get a score–the kind of score the insurance companies look at–based on your speed of travel and the speed of your stops and turns.
Usage based insurance, such as the Snapshot by Progressive is growing in popularity. Progressive says it has written over $1 billion in premiums with a usage-based discount in the past year alone.
But many drivers are reluctant to use a device that measures their driving and sends the data to an insurance company (as does the Snapshot).
Audiovox says its Car Connection is like an interim device, that shows the driver his basic scores. It might be used as training wheels by a consumer to see if he is ready for usage-based insurance.
Additionally, Audiovox may partner with an insurance company. Many insurance companies are reluctant to enter the market because they don’t want to deal with the hardware. So the Audiovox Car Connection, offers a solution.
“If we have this product available in 10,000 retail outlets, then the insurance companies can tell Mrs Jones just to go out and buy the hardware” from any one of 10,000 shops, said Malone. Eventually, the insurance companies could drive business to the retailers, Malone said.
In the meantime, the Car Connection can act as a step up for a remote start sale. It provides the option for remote-start-from-a-phone as well as teen tracking, vehicle health and driving scores. ‘So now when someone comes in for a remote starter, the dealer can offer them the Car Connection,’said Malone.
The device requires a $9.95 a month service fee or $79.95 per year. The module itself carries a fee of $169 and was first shown in January at the Consumer Electronics Show as pictured above.
Photo via TheBTeam