New TomTom device enables easy access to vehicle information via smartphone

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TomTom Business Solutions will launch a new device to enable a smartphone to connect to real-time vehicle and driving information.

The TomTom LINK 100 dongle allows third-parties to create a wide range of new mobile applications that make use of vehicle information and driver usage.

The easy to install TomTom LINK 100 logs vehicle diagnostic information, such as engine rpm, load and temperature, directly from the on-board diagnostic port. The integrated 3D accelerometer logs driving behavioural data.

By providing access to real-time information the LINK 100 will enable the automotive, leasing, insurance and roadside assistance industries to create innovative products that allow the end-user to benefit from connected car technology.

"This innovation opens up a wealth of possibilities for development of smartphone apps allowing motorists and businesses alike to benefit from ready availability of vehicle data," said Thomas Schmidt, Managing Director, TomTom Business Solutions.

"TomTom is leading the way by providing an interface that offers the highest standards of reliability and data security. The available data empowers drivers to drive more safely and efficiently and provides diagnostic insight, paving the way for products that deliver consumer value while allowing suppliers to control cost and risk."

The LINK 100, which also offers accident detection and crash logs, is expected to aid the evolution of usage-based insurance products and solutions designed to help the leasing industry reduce risk.

For car manufacturers and dealerships, it will mean the ability to offer ongoing maintenance and technical services, based on information gathered from the vehicle.

Drivers, meanwhile, will be able to use smartphone apps to gain a snapshot of their driving performance for each trip in order to help them to identify where improvement is necessary. Driver location privacy is maintained as the device does not incorporate GPS or reporting on vehicle location.

"The possibilities offered by the connected vehicle are virtually limitless," added Thomas.

"Roadside assistance companies, for example, could use the available data to ensure the most appropriate responder is sent out to each incident based on the exact nature of the breakdown but any number of different industries may imagine alternative uses for the wealth of available data."

The product will be made available before the end of the year.

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