Dash Labs Smart Car, Data-Hungry Device is a Huge Win for Automotive Businesses
【Summary】At FutureCar, we’ve covered a handful of OBD-II devices that all do the same thing: ease the transition for old vehicles struggling to operate with new, tech-savvy smart cars on public roads.
The move to digital, smart car platforms require large amounts of data to fuel various features built into the vehicle. For example, monitoring gas levels is applicable to helping drivers get a better perspective on weekly fuel consumption. GPS data can be used with parking apps to help locate vehicles in crowded parking lots. Recently, there has been a sudden demand in data-gathering units – a demand that Dash Labs is aiming to fill with its new OBD-II dongle.
At FutureCar, we've covered a handful of OBD-II devices that all do the same thing: ease the transition for old vehicles struggling to operate with new, tech-savvy smart cars on public roads. In this case, Dash is no different from its competitors. But the company's focus goes beyond providing drivers with real-time information about their habits behind the wheel. It also wants to take that data, repackage it and sell it to businesses, brands and startups in the highly congested automotive sector.
Features and Data Processing
Dash works by using data from the OBD-II port to power its app. It monitors a wide range of components under the hood, like engine performance, fuel efficiency, maintenance schedules, miles driven, trip documentation and etc. All of these features get tallied and averaged into a "driving score" which is used to identify and assess a driver's overall skills. Dash takes this information and processes it to make smart recommendations. For instance, if the app detects a failing battery, it will inform the driver via smart phone notification. Then it will provide a set of nearby repair shops to fix the issue. When monitoring trips, the app is capable of displaying accurate information about a driver's whereabouts, including the date of the trip, address of destination and route taken to arrive at the location.
"When Dash works as it should, a person gets in their car with their phone in their pocket and the app running in the background," said CEO and Co-founder Jamyn Edis. "They turn the key, Dash comes to life and starts tracking your trip."
B2B and Selling Data
At the moment, there are over 400,000 individuals using the app to monitor their driving experience. To expand the platform's earning capacity, Dash Labs takes the information from its database and sells it to automakers, commercial fleets and insurance companies. For Edmunds.com, one of the startup's partners, the business provides VIN numbers for lead generation campaigns, as well as odometer readings and maintenance schedules for determining accurate price offerings.
Even the New York City Department of Transportation has formed a strategic partnership with the startup. The transportation authority uses the company's data to monitor emissions around the city. In 2015, the organization supported a 30 percent discount on Allstate auto insurance for people using the app.
"The experience can also extend outside of the car through IFTTT (If This Then That), a web-based interface that allows people to trigger connections and actions between services. It's a way to create internet-of-things connections through the ‘path of least resistance,'" explained Edis.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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