Directed Launches All New Remote Start Platform

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Directed DS4 remote start

Directed will announce at CES Thursday, an all-new digital remote start platform that includes Bluetooth.  For dealers, it eliminates the need for special tools when flashing remote starts. For consumers it allows free remote start from a phone when in close range to the car.

The new DS4 Digital System won a 2017 Innovation Award. It is a remote start/security system, interface and Bluetooth system in one.  With the DS4, installers no longer need an XKloader or Bitwriter. They can program the remote start directly from a smartphone or tablet with an auto-firmware lookup feature.  Directed will demo the feature at it booth at CES.

The new Bluetooth capability gives users free smartphone control within 100 feet of the car.  So you can remote start the car or lock and unlock doors from the phone. You also get 3X lock start from the factory keyfob without any remotes.

The DS4 lets you send diagnostic info from the car to a phone so you can see why an engine light was triggered.

Directed’s James Turner said the DS4 provides “auto-lookup of vehicle firmware, simplified installation docs, and system configuration at your fingertips. DS4 is the solution that fits any vehicle that comes your way and, with feature-rich vehicle firmware and OEM fit t-harnesses, your installation times are cut by up to 75%.”

The DS4 also has simpler connections for sensors and other devices.  All fuses and relays are now in the unit itself and not in a harness.   It supports more than 7,000 vehicles.  It also has 5 high current relays to support remote start on older vehicles.

An optional shock/tilt/temperature sensor is available.

The DS4 will be offered under the Viper, AstroStart and Automate brands.

It will be available to retailers to trial during the first quarter and will ship in early April.  Retail prices will vary with different RF packages.






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  1. That means no Python, Clifford, Autostart, etc etc.

    Hey: I can’t have Viper, Automate is gone, now your killing off the distributor brands?
    that right kill off the little guy, we didn’t help build the brands, Circuit city, and best buy will save DEI and sell billions of units like MC Donald’s!……….. Wrong!

    Its ok DEI 15 other business are making remote start units, its not like I can’t install any other brand. 27 years of doing DEI 17 in retail stores at least 15 factory training meetings.
    Oh and did I say I sell retail, for more then best buy? I’ve supported the brand for 27 years+- I can’t use direct tec to bid jobs You think I’ll use it to sell crime-stopper or some other brand.
    I’d rather sell a product I have for all those years my customers do not return with problems with, very often, just remotes or battery issues.
    I liked the old cases that use screws to hold them together, these snap together cases fall apart after you change a battery.
    I bought 2 Viper System’s direct from DEI on Employee discount in 2001, I still have them and have never had a problem with them, Oh I also used T-Taps to install them on my cars.
    Dealerships use T-Taps.
    Ford dealers used to use T-Taps to install Ford’s version of Code Alarm.
    Toyota Uses T-Taps at the dealership to install after factory alarms.
    T Harness work and do not require soldering.
    The biggest fail point on an install is the ground point, all ground wires run to one point.
    Wire up the harness, when your done plug in the brain, or keep out the fuses until your done with the install.

    1. Disclosure: I am speaking out of experience in Canada so some things may be different regarding distribution etc for USA.

      They actually aren’t killing off distributor brands, they are doing what they should have years ago: investing in their premium lines to differentiate them and add value. There will now be TWO premium lines that are supported nationally through warehouse distribution. If you’re a retailer and you want to sell a premium brand, you can now sell either Astro or Viper confidently over the other lines because they actually be different.
      They aren’t discontinuing Python, Clifford, Autostart etc, they just aren’t incorporating the new DS4 platform into them. They are not killing them off, they are splitting the field so that they don’t have the exact situation that Jeff B commented on: 7 or 8 different brands that all sell the same thing. They need to represent different markets and customers and this is why they are limiting the platform to their premium brands.

      Also, they are not relying on big box retailers, at least in Canada. Here, there are only really 1 or 2 large retailers that are even doing Directed products. Best Buy doesn’t do remote starters anymore, they are actually putting their investment back into independent retailers who WANT to sell both premium brands and more value brands to offer their customers choices and have a clear difference on what those two brands are.

  2. Does this industry still need multiple brand names for essentially the same product? I get the market/dealer protection aspect but for dealers and consumers this creates confusion, added costs in multiple skus that do the same thing, and added complexity that isn’t needed.

    Love the sounds of the innovative new features and built in Bluetooth connectivity, but hate to see at least three separate brand names selling the same part.

    Directed Electronics should have two main brands: 1 for consumers, 1 for dealership/expeditor/commercial sales, kill off all the rest.

    1. Jeff, that’s part of the idea behind the new platform:

      Viper and Astrostart are their retail lines and Automate is dealership/commercial only. It is not available through any retail channels. The reason they are implementing into both Astro and Viper is because there are in fact two different customers for each brand. There are also some details regarding distribution, IE not all distributors or retailers will carry both brands.
      Ultimately, part of their strategy is to have the new platform ONLY available on their Premium brands to give them the added value they deserve. That means no Python, Clifford, Autostart, etc etc.

  3. I think the auto loading firmware is innovative. The bluetooth thing is cool, just never took off but should be a standard feature now.

  4. Ummm… I think you’re missing the point… This new Bluetooth tech allows for programming AND it basically builds that external Bluetooth module into the main brain.. No additional module needed for adding Bluetooth control of the system. I’d say that’s a pretty significant change and improvement that benefits both consumer and installers.

  5. Directed already has an add-on bluetooth module very similar to the SmartStart. Once again, Directed doesn’t innovate jack squat.

    1. Actually, Directed innovated SmartStart, innovated the first digital remote starter and interface combo, and have once again proved innovation by providing the only all-in-one digital solution with phone control built in. Pretty sure if you do it first, you have innovated it.

      1. Actually no, they were not the first with cellular remote start. And simply putting two existing pieces under one plastic housing is not innovating anything. While I can appreciate all the positivity, there’s nothing new here.

    2. The add-on Bluetooth module was cool but this is all in one without any additional costs and allows installers to configure the system without needing any physical access to the system. This makes it super easy for installers and reduces power consumption on the vehicles battery. I say its a giant leap forward for the installer community.

    3. Bill, the nice thing about this new unit is that Bluetooth connectivity is part of the unit, not an add-on sale, and gets the customer into Smart Start

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