Posted By Simon Montford on Oct 23, 2014
FIXD helps you better understand your vehicle by translating check engine lights and tracking service intervals and sending them to your phone. According to John Gattuso, the founder of FIXD "We are building FIXD to make your car more accessible to you. We want to take the guess work out of maintaining your car. We want to give you confidence when dealing with repair shops. We want to give you peace of mind over all the cars that you own. We want you to turn to FIXD when you are having car troubles".
It works by connecting to your car's OBD-II (On Board Diagnostics-II) port, just underneath the steering wheel. The car owner can then pair it with their smartphone. The owner is then given access to diagnostic data that allows the user to track their car's status. There is no need to charge the device as it is powered by the car.
The company launched a campaign on Kickstarter and reached their funding goal on Sept 14, 2014 which is good news. We think consumer telematics is going to be huge. Already in the UK, insurance companies are offering discounts to customers who are willing to share data about their driving history. Presumably only safe drivers tend to be the ones that opt-in!
It is only a matter of time until car owners will start to want full access to telematics data so hopefully OEMs will play ball. Providing an open API would enable their customers to gain all kinds of useful insights, especially if the owner is free to store, analyse and share their vehicle's data. I fear, however, that OEMs may deem it necessary to restrict access or lock down the data, perhaps in an attempt to sell access to the owner as a 'premium subscription' or resell it to third parties. This issue of who owns the data being generated by connected devices will become increasingly controversial. This topic has already been covered in the context of wearables 'Who's data is it anyway?'. I think consumer pressure will increasingly keep OEMs honest but we should all be vigilant about what's contained within those infernal TOS. As they say, "always read the small print" even if no one ever does!
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