Aaron Widmar
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Diagnose Problems Easily with Drivebot: A Fitbit for Your Car

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drivebot 4

Drivebot will send your phone alerts like this one
Photo: Drivebot.io

Cars are a pain. We depend on them every day, but we barely know how these mysterious machines function, or how to take care of them properly. Considering how computerized vehicles are becoming, we’re practically waiting for something to break so we receive a staggering repair bill.

Why not put all this digital, integrated technology we have to use by enhancing how we maintain vehicles?

A team of engineers out of Bangkok, Thailand have created that–what is, essentially, a FitbitTM for your car. With Drivebot, vehicle owners can easily monitor, diagnose, fix, and receive reminders about car problems.

Related: Advice for saving fuel when you need it most

Monitor Your Car’s Health with Drivebot

No, Drivebot isn’t an actual robot (like HitchBot). But it sure sounds like it, doesn’t it?

Drivebot uses the same data that mechanics do when they access your On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) to identify car trouble. By plugging a 1.89″ x 1.73″ white dongle (hardware device) into the OBD-II under the steering wheel, your car’s data is accessed.


Step One
Photo: Drivebot.io

Once the dongle is attached, the device will sync with an app on your smartphone ( iOS 7/Android 4.5 or later), where data can be transmitted over Bluetooth.

The device translates the error codes into simple text explanations. Admittedly, the English translations on the app’s screenshots aren’t the best, so hopefully the final product will correct that.

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Step Two
Photo: Drivebot.io

Once running, Drivebot will save you on costly repair bills by monitoring your car, alerting you of problems, diagnosing the issues, and instructing you how to fix them. That’s a whole lot better than waiting for hidden disasters!

Another promoted feature is Drivebot’s offering of driving suggestions based your trip history to improve habits and gas mileage. Plus, its battery-saving mode and internal memory aren’t offered for most OBD devices.

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Step Three
Photo: Drivebot.io

You won’t see Drivebot in stores yet. It’s currently being funded on Indiegogo, where it reached its original $35,000 goal in just five days. Now, the project has nearly hit its $100,000 stretch goal to run on a web Application Programming Interface (API) instead of just Bluetooth.

Supporters can reserve Drivebot devices for $75 currently, instead of a projected retail price of $119.

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Receive driving suggestions to improve your gas mileage
Photo: Drivebot.io

Take a look at the product pitch below and consider getting your own. The campaign closes November 29th, 2014, so hurry up!

Related: Keep these things in mind when researching used cars

Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.