Telefonica rolls out retrofit connected car product and service

Telefonica announced an app and a plug-device (fits in to the OBD2 port) to support smarter car applications on older models at the IAA carIT congress in Hannover. It supports ‘eco-driving’ – fuel consumption tracking, really – some car diagnostics, and a tracking security service. The latter is surely a differentiator against the OTT apps offered by the likes of Dash and Moj.io, because their services are essentially tethered from the OBD2 device to the user’s smartphone in the car; the Telefonica device, supplied by Zubie, has a GPS (and presumably also data connectivity – otherwise how would you find the car?) built in.

Interesting to see whether customers care about this difference; O2 Germany plans to charge €5 a month. This isn’t much, but if you don’t want to interrogate your car when you aren’t in it then it’s not particularly attractive.

Interesting also to speculate about the relationship between this service and one that was darkly hinted at during MWC 2014, but never officially announced.

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