Zubie wants to help your car communicate with you, and you don’t have to be a pit crew member on the NASCAR circuit to understand what it is saying. Since the mid 1990’s, most cars sold include a port that extracts data about the vehicle. This practice of gathering information from a vehicle is commonly called onboard diagnostics (OBD) and until recently, this information was only available to your mechanic. But just as wearable devices like Fitbit are able to feed you information about your health without the aid of your doctor, Zubie is able to send your car’s vital signs straight to your smartphone and translate them so you don’t need to consult a manual or a mechanic to know what they mean. Zubie also tracks your car’s location at all times in the event of a theft or towing.
Zubie was founded with the mission to make driving safer, easier, and less expensive. Their device, the “Zubie Key” connects to your car’s onboard diagnostics port and sends location and driving behavior data, along with maintenance and repair issues to a mobile application. Through this platform, Zubie users can be made aware of problems in advance and avoid costly repairs. When something in a vehicle needs attention, it sends an alert to the user detailing the specific problem, along with repair tips, estimates and discounts for repairs. So now you can not only be made aware of issues as they arise, but can actually predict problems before they come about and save drivers money by avoiding costly repairs.
Perhaps the biggest innovation that Zubie is pioneering is the connectivity of its device. Rather rely on Bluetooth connectivity to communicate with user smartphones, The Zubie Key is enabled with a cellular connection. This connection allows Zubie customers to remotely monitor the driving and safety of family members with location services that inform a user when the car departs and arrives at destination, as well as through alerts like speeding and sudden stops.
All this data can be extremely useful. The Zubie Key can aggregate data about driving behavior and develop a driving score for users. Insurance companies can use the data to gather information about drivers and offer discounts to safe drivers.
The Zubie Key costs only about $100 per year, compared to the almost $360 per year that OnStar customers pay for a less robust connected car service. Communicating with your car has never been as easy or affordable.