Automotive

Drivebot provides real-time monitoring of vehicle health

Drivebot provides real-time mo...
The Drivebot is a simple dongle device that plugs into the car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port
The Drivebot is a simple dongle device that plugs into the car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port
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The app supports multiple vehicle profiles and exports user trip data as CSV files
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The app supports multiple vehicle profiles and exports user trip data as CSV files
The idea behind the Drivebot is to identify system problems before they get too serious
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The idea behind the Drivebot is to identify system problems before they get too serious
Once synced, the Drivebot provides real-time vehicle diagnostics and recommendations
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Once synced, the Drivebot provides real-time vehicle diagnostics and recommendations
The smartphone app is available for iOS7 or later, or Android 4.0 or later.
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The smartphone app is available for iOS7 or later, or Android 4.0 or later.
The Drivebot is a simple dongle device that plugs into the car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port
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The Drivebot is a simple dongle device that plugs into the car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port
Drivebot can also be programmed to monitor driving habits and recommend route options
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Drivebot can also be programmed to monitor driving habits and recommend route options
View gallery - 6 images

For many drivers, a vehicle’s inner workings are akin to magic. When something goes wrong with the car, we take it to the mechanic and trust them to provide an accurate, honest resolution recommendation. But what if there was an app that could provide us vehicular simpletons with ongoing monitoring and recommend a non-biased solution when a problem is identified? That’s exactly what five Thai engineers thought when they set about developing the Drivebot, a device described as a Fitbit for your car.

The Drivebot is a simple dongle device that plugs into the On Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port found on most cars produced since 1996. The Drivebot dongle pairs with a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth to provide real-time vehicle diagnostics and detect a problem in its earliest stages.

Since most vehicle owners aren't certified mechanics, the developers have designed the app to provide basic instructions on how to resolve simple problems. For more complicated problems, the app will advise drivers to contact their mechanic or service center to address the issue. The basic idea is to proactively identify issues before they become more serious (and more expensive to repair).

The app supports multiple vehicle profiles and exports user trip data as CSV files
The app supports multiple vehicle profiles and exports user trip data as CSV files

IN addition to keeping an electronic eye on the health of the vehicle, Drivebot can also be programmed to monitor driving habits and driving routes and make recommendations on how to save gas or suggesting different driving routes in order to save time and money. Drivebot can also tag business trips and export the files to your email in an effort to improve business expense tracking.

The Drivebot dongle has built-in flash storage that can store roughly two months of trip data, while the smartphone app is available for iOS7 or later, or Android 4.0 or later. The app can also support multiple vehicle profiles and exports user trip data as CSV files.

Drivebot has currently raised almost US$60,000 in crowdsourced funds on Indiegogo, far surpassing its initial goal of $35,000. The minimum pledge level currently remaining for a Drivebot is $75, with the team hoping to ship an iOS version of the device in February 2015 and an Android version to follow in March, if all goes to plan.

Source: Drivebot

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4 comments
Daishi
For anyone just wanting to connect their phone to the OBDII port you can buy inexpensive bluetooth adapters on Amazon for $10-20 and use the Torque app (free or $5 for pro). You can see/clear/text check engine codes and see a lot of other useful data for the car with it.
For people who want to roll their own recorder check out the blackboxpi.com project that uses Rasberry Pi for it.
This looks like a pretty cool solution but it will depend a lot on how well they implement the software for it. Cars probably make a lot more sense as thing to Internet than stuff like household appliances so I'm kind of surprised I haven't seen more launches like this one.
Chi_Foos
Why not just get a free one from Metromile. They have an insurance program. But it's optional and the monitor and app are free regardless.
Andrew Varley
If you're in the U.K. Direct Line offer a solution like this already. The drive plus unit plugs into the odb ii socket and records all sorts of stuff. Plus, if you're under 25 it'll help keep your insurance costs down
Gregg Eshelman
Does it read antilock brake and transmission data too?