Do you want to track mileage for work, evaluate maintenance needs for your vehicle, or figure out how to get where you need to go when you’re behind the wheel? Well, as the saying goes, “There’s an app for that.”
A new company called Zubie is offering all of these services with their own app store, to help drivers who need a little assistance on the road. Zubie’s suite of services operates through something called the Zubie key — a physical device that plugs into the OBD engine diagnostic port on newer vehicles (most vehicles 1996 or newer).
By offering these kinds of services, Zubie is ahead of the curve, because if you go to RadioShack or Best Buy and ask for an OBD plug-in, you’ll more than likely to come up empty-handed. Moreover, most drivers don’t even know where their OBD port is, and they aren’t used to putting things into it. But Zubie and other companies are going to change all that.
How Does it Work?
With the Zubie key installed, as soon as the driver starts moving, Zubie starts sending car data into the cloud. Users can get this data through a smartphone or from the Zubie website.
Zubie will provide the vehicle’s real-time location, as well as fuel gauge data, battery voltage data, alerts on hard braking and rapid acceleration, and current engine codes.
Drivers can use this kind of information to get directions, find nearby gas stations, or figure out where their cars are parked. Parents or other vehicle owners can use it to keep an eye on teenagers or other secondary drivers. And, of course, this little device is going to be as good as LoJack, or better, if your car gets stolen (unless the thief is tech-savvy enough to remove it), which can save you hundreds of dollars at the impound lot.
On some cars, Zubie also offers more detailed maintenance information. For instance, if the vehicle should have a problem with an oxygen sensor or catalytic converter and throw an engine code, drivers will know right away what they’re dealing with. They won’t have to go to the shop to pull the engine code, which can lead to a much quicker diagnosis and mechanic service.