Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi Aims to Keep Teen Drivers Safe

Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi in Troy MI allows parental control apps for smartphones and vehicles so parents can monitor and track their vehicles. I spoke with Kathy Winter of Delphi so she could explain how Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi work.

The latest technology to help new teen drivers navigate the roads safely comes from Delphi in Troy – a leading global supplier of technology. Delphi has launched Vehicle Diagnostics, a device that allows parents to control, track and monitor their vehicles anywhere in the world via their smartphones, tablets and computers. I had a chance to chat with Kathy Winter, VP of Advanced Engineering and Software and Services of Delphi to learn how Vehicle Diagnostics works.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – How does the Vehicle Diagnostics device work and how long did it take your team to come up with the concept through completion?

Kathy Winter, Vice President, Advanced Engineering and Software & Services of Delphi – Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi is a small device that plugs into the OBD II port of most 1996 and newer vehicles (cars, light trucks, SUVs, and minivans) sold in the United States. The device then allows vehicle owners to access, control, track and monitor their vehicles from anywhere in the world, using a high-speed, cloud-based connection through a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Key features of the device include the ability to use a smartphone, laptop or tablet as a key fob for your car, regardless of where you are, to help when accidently locked out, as well as the ability to locate and access family cars anywhere and anytime without having to tag the vehicle’s original location. With the device you also can monitor overall vehicle health status, receive email alerts for select driving and vehicle performance issues, set up geo-fences and receive email alerts for entry and exit and summarize all trips from engine start to stop (date, times, distance, starting and ending locations).

Delphi began conceptualizing the idea in 2010. The final product became available in 2013.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Since the Vehicle Diagnostics device transmits to your smartphone or tablet – how much is the monthly cost and how much is the cost of the device itself?

Kathy Winter, Vice President, Advanced Engineering and Software & Services of Delphi –Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi is available through Verizon Wireless for $249.99. Delphi’s fee for service on the device is free for the first two years. Verizon charges users $5 per month for monthly line access and a data plan is also required, which varies from about $30 to $70 per month depending on the amount data you plan to use each month.

Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Were you able to test the Vehicle Diagnostics device on local Michigan teen drivers?

Kathy Winter, Vice President, Advanced Engineering and Software & Services of Delphi – Many of Delphi Automotive’s Michigan-based executives tested the device on their own families before it hit the market. One of our executives set up the geo-fencing function on her family’s vehicle and was able to track the whereabouts of her teenage driver. While this definitely brought about an “Oh, Mom…” moment for her son, she gained peace of mind through the ability to know where he was and if he had traveled beyond the approved areas in which he could drive.

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