Delphi Automotive PLC announced the launch of its new cloud-based automotive connectivity service, Delphi Connect, for Chinese consumers. Already introduced in the U.S., Delphi Connect will provide Chinese drivers a car-to-cloud/cloud-to-car connectivity service.
Delphi Connect is a device that simply plugs into the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port to connect its owners to a wealth of important and useful vehicle information through a smart phone or a web portal. Applicable to most cars built in China after 2003, Delphi Connect enables Chinese car owners to remotely and instantly use this device to access their vehicle’s health data, trip history and location quickly and easily, set driving boundary limits and track their vehicle’s travels.
“Delphi Connect allows drivers to locate and access their vehicles from any location at any time and keep track of driving history,” said Jeffrey J. Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. “It also allows them to monitor their vehicle’s systems, which is almost like taking a helpful auto-diagnostics technician with you everywhere you go.”
To access the service, the Delphi Connect module is plugged in to the vehicle’s OBD port, which is usually located under the steering column. The service provides a dedicated and secure cloud server to store data and provide access to certain vehicle information. Through a Smartphone app (Android or Apple) or a web portal, the user will have access to numerous features including:
- Vehicle health alerts: Provides automatic notice via text or email to the owner about a current or potential problem with the vehicle, such as engine, safety or emissions issues.
- Vehicle tracking: Tracks the vehicle’s position, speed and directions real-time, a benefit for fleets or parents of young drivers.
- Vehicle location: Locates and accesses the vehicle from any location at any time using the portal or app to help drivers find their vehicles.
- Driving history / driver’s logbook: Provides a summary of driving trips.
- Safe driver monitoring: Locates the vehicle when driven by others. The vehicle’s owner also can specify designated boundaries that the vehicle must remain within (also known as geo-fencing). A notification is sent to the vehicle’s owner if the vehicle leaves the pre-set boundaries.
- Vehicle relationship management: In the aftermarket, Delphi Connect enables an aftermarket technician to perform diagnostics and repair services including remote vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, service and maintenance, vehicle health monitoring and incident management.
The system operates through downloadable Delphi smartphone apps, available for Android 2.2 and Apple IOS 5.0 and later devices, as well as a Delphi Web portal that is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 and later, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox browsers. Data transmitted through Delphi Connect remains secure and encrypted. The programmable nature of the device will allow Delphi to constantly improve the service and offerings in the future.
Thanks to ISO standard, it is now possible for everyone to access some data based on CAN data through OBD port. I even saw some home-made Smartphone applications recording some characteristics like engine speed or vehicle speed. Do you think there will be new comers in this business, not only automotive companies? What would be the return on investment creating a Smartphone app to analyze engine and vehicle data?