Those of you who want to know more about your car’s engine performance should take a look at the new Dash car dongle, a Kickstarter project that can improve your driving experience by collating information about how your car is faring.
Most drivers, even those who have owned their cars for a very long time, still find it hard to understand what exactly make their cars crank up or act out. This is because there is very limited information you can find out from your dashboard. It doesn’t really say anything except how much fuel you got in your tank and how fast you are driving. But aside from that, the dashboard doesn’t show anything that will help you in being a more efficient driver.
The car is a more sophisticated machine than it lets on, so it’s important that we try to understand it as much as we can. The Dash car dongle, developed by a team from Boston, will plug into your car’s diagnostic port and relay information on your phone via Bluetooth 4.0. By simply plugging this dongle, you can have information about your car’s fuel consumption, speedometer and tachometer. It will also show some of your car’s components that broke down and it can locate your car if you somehow lose it.
Not the First Car Dongle
Yes, this isn’t the first device that is trying to make people understand more about how their car works. There’s the Carvoyant and the Y Combinator-backed Automatic that tap also into your car’s diagnostic port and turn the information into something any mechanically-challenged person can understand.
At $69, this Dash car dongle isn’t actually that far behind in price and efficiency than the two other devices. It takes pride though in giving out information about your car’s fuel efficiency based on how you cruise along the road. This means that drivers will be able to set a specific driving mode to make their fuel last a little bit longer than usual.
Aside from that nifty little feature, this device can also upload the information collated from the diagnostic port to an associated online account. Why the need to do this? Well, the device’s developers said that uploading the information can let you compare your statistics with those uploaded by other users. You can share information and learn from each other about best driving practices. The device also allows the recording of speed and engine information that you can share via an in-car video. What the purpose of that particular feature remains to be seen.
Needs More Time
The device is actually very helpful for drivers, especially those who are only starting to understand how their car operates and performs. However, the Dash car dongle needs more time if it will also attract experienced drivers who depend on their gut-feel when it comes to their cars. Today, the company’s Kickstarter campaign just raised $15,000 out of the $750,000 it needs before May 11 to start the production. The device is suitable for iPhone users for the meantime as Android phones would have to wait until later this year for their turn.