Samsung has introduced a new device that provides GPS services, a "Snapshot" style in-car watchdog, an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, improved in-car diagnostics and driver feedback – and will function with almost any car built in the last 20 years.
Dubbed Samsung ConnectAuto, the device is a dongle that plugs in to the OBD II port found on nearly every car and light truck built since 1996. It uses the port for power from the vehicle, and information from the on-board computer. This includes real-time fuel consumption, check engine light data, and even feedback on throttle and brake application that could help you drive more efficiently. It would also allow you to track the behaviour of anyone driving the vehicle.
ConnectAuto adds an LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and a GPS receiver to help you stay connected while on the road. It's designed to work with a number of apps and features and would let you access the internet, find or track your car via GPS, send diagnostics and location information home for analysis or even summon roadside assistance if you need it. This is useful for individuals in their personal car, but would be a powerful tool for anyone monitoring a fleet of vehicles. The device can also interface with some car insurance companies who offer variable rates based on your driving information.
ConnectAuto is expected to be available in the U.S in the second quarter of this year. A Canadian on-sale date was not announced, but it will likely arrive here at the same time as the U.S.