It’s still in the prototype and demo stages, but already some are excited about the new Samsung Connect Auto platform, which the OEM showed off at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. You can already see the huge potential of both the device and the platform, although of course some issues linger on the privacy and safety of such a new technology and if you can entrust your car to it. But for now, Samsung has the answers, even at this early stage.
The dongle itself is meant to be attached to the ODB-II port of the car, which is somewhere in the driver’s side, under the steering wheel. There is a SIM slot for the LTE modem and a microUSB port. They’re saying the latter will be absent from the consumer version of the device. But for now, when you plug it in, it will connect to your car’s CAN bus. Once connected, all your interaction will now be with the Samsung Connect Auto app, where all the information you need to know about your car can be accessed.
Your main app dashboard will show you the last-recorded location of your car and in case it’s not where you remember you placed it last, you’ll get directions on how to get to it. It will also show your driving score which is based on how safe you drive and also how economically you use your car’s resources. The app will also show your fuel economy, including distance travelled, how much fuel was used and how much was wasted (which will affect your driving score of course). Connect Auto will also be able to get diagnostic information about your car like with the engine, transmission, electronics, and auxiliary systems, etc.
To address the security issues, Connect Auto will only use the CAN bus codes for functionalities that have been approved by the automakers. Samsung’s highly secure KNOX security system will also be used one platform. They will also allow third-party apps of course, but how to distribute and how to ensure that they’re secure is still something that they will figure out eventually. This is targeted to be launched in Q2 of this year. No pricing or availability details yet for now.