Dash Connects Car, Phone to Improve Driving Experience, Safety
The founders of Dash a, a unique automotive industry mobile cloud application that sends instant on-board diagnostics information from a driver’s vehicle to his or her smart phone or other device, are working on enhancements that would alert users to such engine factors as revolutions per minute, speed, and fluid temperatures.
The application, launched in 2012 by Jamyn Edis and Brian Langel, has received favorable reviews from such sources as Forbes and Mashable. Dash connects with on-board diagnostics ports installed by most manufacturers in the automotive industry to inform drivers about their engine performance as well as their own driving. The mobile cloud device employs algorithms that monitor driving efficiency and safety as well as the performance of the vehicle’s engine; drivers receive regular scores that outline this data, enabling them to modify driving habits, alter routes, or change oil, gas, or even tires to garner such advantages as better mileage per gallon and reduced emissions.
Touted as a means of making roads safer, smarter, and greener, Dash also clarifies the reasons that a vehicle’s “check engine” light appears. In addition, the mobile cloud device also recommends gas stations and mechanics to users. Although the application currently works only for drivers in the United States, the company is planning a beta-test of a product that would work with automotive industry products in other countries.
Every car manufactured by the automotive industry in the United States since 1996 is equipped with on-board diagnostics, version 2 – or OBD-II – port. As such, while Dash will not work for classic cars or older model vehicles, most drivers will be able to use it. The company warns, however, that, at this time, all features might not be available for electric, hybrid, or diesel vehicles; its team is scrutinizing differences in the way information can be disseminated by those cars and trucks to provide a complete user experience.
Dash is currently available at the Google Play Store for Android 4 devices, but an iOS application for Apple iPhones and other mobile cloud devices is expected to be launched in coming months. Dash works with any car that has an on-board diagnostics port, an automotive industry innovation that allows mechanics to download information about a car’s performance to a computer for instant clarity about engine problems and maintenance or repair requirements. Currently, the company recommends that users purchase a Bluetooth OBD-II scanner device such as those manufactured by ScanTool or YoungTek; hardware requirements are delineated in the instructions for the application. Although Dash’s website notes a preference for the ScanTool OBDLink LX, the mobile cloud device application will work with any on-board diagnostics tool.
While Dash is optimized for use with Bluetooth, the company announced recently that it is beginning to support wi-fi OBD interfaces.
By Mary Elizabeth