Delphi and Verizon have teamed up to offer a new Car Connect device that delivers a host of control and information options to car owners, allowing them to control, monitor and track their vehicles by remote.
Packed into a small, black box about the size of a pack of playing cards, Car Connect seems to emulate many of the features we see in modern telematics services. The device plugs straight into the vehicle’s OBD2 port, and then all the user has to do is download an application or sign into the Delphi Car Connect web portal and they’ll have access to the full range of features offered by the device.
The device is hooked up to the Verizon network via a CDMA data connection, while it also offers Bluetooth as an additional connectivity option. Delphi says that it can attach itself to any car featuring a OBD2 port, which has pretty much featured as standard on all cars built since 1996. Once connected, Car Connect can then read the vehicle codes and support some of its control features. In addition, it also comes with a GPS chip inside, so that owners can locate their vehicle over the Verizon connection.
Car Connect’s smartphone app offers dozens of useful features that we’re sure will appeal to cautious and careful drivers. For example, the app is capable of picking up and interpreting any error codes that might indicate a red warning light is about to come on somewhere. In addition, the app displays useful info such as the engine temperature and fuel level.
The GPS feature will no doubt appeal to cautious and/or over-protective parents. For example, Car Connect can send a warning direct to the parent’s smartphone when the car goes over a specific geographical boundary, or if it exceeds specified speeds. Meanwhile, the more dedicated stalker-parent types will be glad to know that Car Connect offers instant, real-time tracking, so they can always know exactly where their kids (or their cars at least) are located. Finally, the app also offers a 911 speed dial should the worst happen and you or your kids end up getting carjacked.
For added convenience, the smartphone app also transforms your device into a key fob, allowing you to unlock the vehicle and even start the engine – even if you happen to be on the other side of the planet!
Delphi said that Car Connect is the result of a collaborative effort between them and Verizon, with the carrier designing the hardware and Delphi taking care of the app and web portal. We don’t yet know how much this gizmo will cost, but Delphi assures us it will come with a guaranteed two years of data connectivity.