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Summary:

Looking to get a connected car without buying a new vehicle? A small module with GPS and cellular radio that plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port may be the answer. Moj.io is just that and includes 8 useful apps to add smarts to your car.

Mojio app

Want to add some smarts to your car? You don’t need to buy a new vehicle with a bunch of whiz-bang features. Instead, consider a solution like the Moj.io: A small module with integrated cellular radio that plugs into your car and comes with a handful of useful smartphone applications.

Moj.io, a current project trying to raise $100,000 in funding on Indiegogo, takes advantage of the OBD, or on-board diagnostics, port found in all cars built on or after 1995. The ODB port is mainly intended for auto shops to connect to and get information from a vehicle’s computer to assist with diagnosing problems. But it can be used in a real-time mode for data such as speed, fuel levels and more.

Getting at that data is only part of the solution, however. The small Moj.io module integrates both a GPS and cellular radio to gather location information and for connectivity. The GSM radio inside uses T-Mobile’s network for M2M, or machine to machine, data transfers, sending data up to the cloud.

Mojio module for cars

From there it’s accessible through a smartphone app and the Moj.io team already has eight in mind:

  1. Family Connect can notify you when another driver in the household exceeds a pre-set speed limit. (Sorry teens!)
  2. Drive Smart disables incoming texts and calls when the car is in motion. You can allow incoming calls from three pre-determined contacts, however.
  3. Vehicle Locate does what it says: Shows your vehicle on a map and provides walking directions to it.
  4. Tow Alert notifies you if your car is broken into or being towed away.
  5. Mileage Tracker eliminates the need to manually track miles for business expensing.
  6. Auto Text is perhaps the most impressive to me. Upon starting a drive, the app checks your calendar for any appointments within the next hour. It can then send a text message to any meeting participants, telling them how far away you are and when you should arrive.
  7. Virtual Mechanic provides basic diagnostic information and fuel levels.
  8. Good Driver Points sounds like a rewards system that will earn perks in the future.

To back the project as an early adopter and get the lowest price will cost $89 which is a $60 savings over the expected retail price. There’s more to the system than just the module though: Expect to pay $7.99 per month to cover the Moj.io’s cellular service. Again, backing early will save you some money: You’ll get three months service for free. And all backers will get a special yearly subscription price of $79 to cover the connectivity.

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  1. Fred Schechter Friday, November 30, 2012

    If you’re looking for a unit for a racecar there’s this right now on indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.com/RaceCapture

  2. Great article. The monitoring of the car’s speed is something else.

  3. Steve Banfield Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Reblogged this on @stevebanfield and commented:
    Cars are going to become more plug and play. It’s clear I’ve bought my last car without a “screen”. It will really be at all but the lowest levels in just a few years. The intellgence won’t be built into the car’s head unit but instead in car WiFi will enable “AirPlay like” screen sharing and replication. The apps will be in your phone and take advantage of the screens, controls and telemetry data from your car.

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