Verizon Wireless has recently begun offering a vehicle diagnostics tool. The item is from Delphi Automotive and is simply called Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi. Bland name aside, this little gadget does just what the name implies (and in some cases, a bit more). Those using the Vehicle Diagnostics tool in your car will be able to monitor, locate and even control their automobile.
Delphi Automotive has said the Vehicle Diagnostics tool will work with most cars that have been made since 1996. The key here seems more dependent on what functionality you will get for you particular car, but more on that in a moment. Installation of the Vehicle Diagnostics tool is simple — just plug it into the OBD-II port on your car. From here, make sure the module is registered and make sure your service with Verizon Wireless has been activated.
Those using the Vehicle Diagnostics tool will be able to take advantage of the Android app, or also view details using a regular web browser. The connection between the tool and your smartphone is done using Bluetooth and means the ability to lock and/or unlock your car, checking the engine light warning to see what it really means, monitor your vehicles health, monitor the current location of your car, keep track of your driving history and even receive alerts and messages based on speed and/or distance from your home.
So far this all sounds interesting enough, even for a non-car guy like myself. After all, remotely unlocking and starting your car from your smartphone sounds like a good deal for a mobile geek. The catch here, this is where you may not get every feature. These are dependent on your car. For example, based on my 2007 VW Jetta, I would get all the features with the exception of the key fob on phone and fuel level reporting. Oh, and this isn’t exactly cheap — Verizon Wireless has the Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi tool priced at $249.99.[via Verizon Wireless]