Other OBD-II Applications

OBD-II is the second-generation On-Board Diagnostics interface built into vehicle computers. It enables access to a vehicle’s nerve center of data and control functions. In addition to commercial fleet applications—like rental car management and private fleet telematics — the port is used for vehicle maintenance/customer support and auto insurance programs.

Just as smart phones have become platforms for a dizzying array of applications (roughly 2.8 million for Android and 2.2 million for Apple iOS), the OBD-II interface has the potential to enable many more vehicle applications for drivers, owners, fleet operators, lessors, and automotive service companies. Two of the largest areas of application development are automotive OEM services and auto insurance programs.

Automotive OEM Services

If you’ve ever watched your car being serviced or inspected, you may have seen the mechanic reach under the dashboard or behind the glove compartment—where your car’s OBD-II port is—to plug in a handheld device. That’s how the mechanic reads your car’s diagnostic codes.

The data from your OBD-II port can be used for other services, too. GM pioneered the use of OBD data for consumers with OnStar, the subscription service that provides remote diagnostics, turn-by-turn navigation, and emergency communications (roadside assistance and automatic crash response).

OBD data communications can also be used to locate stolen vehicles.

I.D. Systems has developed an extensive library of OBD-II interface codes covering a wide range of vehicle makes and models. And our wireless technology employs encrypted, low-bandwidth cellular communications for low-cost data downloads and “future-proof” functional flexibility.

Contact us for more information about our how we can help you develop your own OBD-II applications for consumer automotive services.

Automobile Insurance Programs

Insurance companies like Progressive and Liberty Mutual have launched programs that monitor drivers’ use of their vehicles—particularly mileage and speed. The idea is to offer usage-based insurance, where costs are commensurate with risks: lower-risk drivers pay less; higher-risk drivers pay more. (In contrast, traditional insurance rates are essentially blended, with lower-risk drivers paying more than their fair share and higher-risk drivers paying less than they really should.)

According to a Progressive survey, an overwhelming majority of drivers think poor drivers should pay more for their auto insurance and believe usage-based insurance is a fairer way to go. Insurers generally agree that individual driving habits are the most accurate predictors of insurance losses.

The “dongles” that insurance companies give to customers who join their usage-based insurance programs are OBD-II interface devices. They plug into the same OBD-II port that a vehicle mechanic uses to access the vehicle’s maintenance data.

Contact us for more information about our how we can help you develop your own OBD-II applications for automotive insurance.