This blog is a melange of articles on management, travelogues, movie and store reviews, op-eds, human interest stories, poems, and short stories written while at work and play. It's an online portfolio of my writing.
Whom do you trust? That's a big, loaded question. And at least one organisation has been putting out a Trust Barometer for 14 years now...
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Connected Car: From Your Wheels To Your Phone
Sagar Apte is a car enthusiast. We all know what this means..don’t we? They all start out collecting those Hot Wheels car models as kids and then start tinkering with their parents’ cars as they grow older, much to their horror. The local garage mechanic is probably a Facebook pal these days!
But Sagar went one up on his pet passion and created CarIQ – a connected car ecosystem. He told Networked India, “I used to spend a lot of time with the mechanics when I took my car for servicing. That’s when I came across this port, known as OBD, inside every car. I learnt that this port had details on mileage, kilometers driven, driving style, and any problems with the car. To me, a natural question was what the hell is that doing in the car? It should be on my phone – for me to know and take corrective action. Also, save money and have the confidence of driving a good car. That’s when we got started working on the unit, to get this data on to the Internet. That is what CarIQ is today.”
CarIQ connects a car owner, through mobile apps to “service providers like garages, insurance companies, marketers and roadside assistance providers”, states its website. What’s more, a car owner can “interact with service providers on the basis of data collected from your car by CarIQ”, states its website.
Initially, things were not smooth sailing and they didn’t get much help with technical stuff. Sagar recalls, “We were working on solving this one problem for three months with no resolution in sight, and it was a time when all of us were wondering if we had started on a fool’s errand. But that’s when we met a couple of other entrepreneurs. We spent some good quality time speaking with them, and realised these are pretty normal stories of any young startup.” He added,
These entrepreneurs not only gave us the much needed confidence to go on but also provided help and assistance. I think the entrepreneurial community in Pune is simply amazing in its ability to come forward and provide assistance.”
The CarIQ app is available for Android and Windows phones with features that let you:
Replay trips taken
View your car’s logs
Monitor its location
Configure and get overspeeding/geo-fence alerts, servicing reminders and vehicle health alerts
So, all people have to do is buy the CarIQ SmartPlug that connects their car to the CarIQ platform. SmartPlugs are available in two variants – GSM and Bluetooth, for Rs 6,500 and Rs 4,000 respectively. To buy it and to take a look at their features, go here.
Sagar is happy with the response he has got for his product, especially when customers tell him, their own stories. He says, “A certain customer was in an unfortunate accident and he literally used CarIQ records to show he wasn’t over- speeding. Imagine him telling this to a group of people, when we were around!”