By Andrew Liszewski
OnStar’s ability to provide directions or help find and recover a stolen vehicle are already well known. But recently the company has expanded the service’s capabilities with a mobile app that lets users do everything from remotely monitor their vehicle’s diagnostics, to remote starting and climate control. It’s an incredibly slick option, as long as you own a General Motors vehicle that is.
If you happen to drive something else, Mavizon’s new AutoBot device and app looks like it might be the next best thing. While no where near as comprehensive or integrated as OnStar is, the AutoBot hardware can do everything from automatically contacting help services with your location if you get in an accident, track a stolen or lost vehicle’s location and even monitor your vehicle’s diagnostics and provide alerts for things like oil changes. It supposedly works with most 1996 or newer vehicles, and relies on a dongle that connects to the OBDII on-board diagnostics port to harvest the pertinent data. When available sometime next year the AutoBot kit, including the app, should sell for under $300 with no monthly service fees, which is one major advantage it has over OnStar.