This plug-and-play device provides fuel analysis, social territory mapping, self-diagnostics and more.
Who recalls the Seinfeld episode when Jerry and the gang are in search of Kramer’s car in a multi-level parking garage of a shopping mall? Most likely, you too have experienced a similar situation. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy-to-use system that could help identify the whereabouts of your whip instead of having to navigate around countless levels that all look alike?
Over the next five years, there will be millions of connected cars on the road capable of consuming, creating and sharing web-based data. But what about those older automobiles that lack Internet enablement? Fortunately, one Chennai-based startup has developed a plug-and-play device that can transform any ‘dumb’ vehicle into a smarter ride.
The idea first came about after its creator, Deepak John J, ran out of fuel and wished his car had properly notified him before it went completely dry. With that in mind, Fuel Book was designed as a self-installable unit that, along with its accompanying app, can create a smart vehicle right through its diagnostic port. Once connected, a user simply launches the app and syncs the device over Bluetooth to open a new world of possibilities. Using the Fuel Book, a driver can interact with a wide-range of features such as fuel analysis and mileage tracking, among a number of others.
Thanks to the pint-sized gadget, a driver will have the ability to easily locate the nearest fuel station, unlock the door with a knock on their phone, and stay one step ahead of the game with self-diagnostics. Hate traffic? Trying to decide whether you should get off the next highway exit? Luckily, users can transform their horn into a smart sensing apparatus that can find out exactly what the hold-up is by sending a message to the driver in front — a feature which will surely come in handy for ambulances to notify users in its path to make way.
Beyond that, Fuel Book features a social territory mapping capability that informs a driver 10 seconds prior to a bump in the road. A built-in accelerometer also measures and tracks a vehicle’s speed, which can be pretty useful in the event of an accident or if pulled-over. The device even immediately alerts a registered emergency number along with the appropriate GPS coordinates through SMS or another Fuel Book via its “tag mode,” which enables a user to share its location with others (especially for those traveling in a caravan).
What’s more, Fuel Book is equipped with a backend driver analysis feature called AI Engine that collects and sends user behavior data. In other words, the gadget will know based on user history if a driver will make a turn, or at which point in time they will accelerate and hit the brake. With access to this information, the AI Engine can provide a smart caution notification if trouble awaits.
Built around an Atmel | SMART Cortex-M3 MCU, the compact gizmo is equipped with a three-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer and temperature sensor, and features both Bluetooth and RF connectivity along with NFC for pairing. Its mobile app is compatible with most newer iOS, Android and Windows smartphones, as well as Android Wear and Pebble smartwatches.
Want to bring that old 2005 Chevy Cavalier into the Internet of Things era? Head over to Fuel Book’s official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $50,000. Shipment is expected to begin in November 2015.