It warns me if someone is trying to break into my car; it sends me a message if my driver exceeds the speed limit; it even tells me which all places my car is being driven.
The DriveMate, from MapmyIndia, is a plug-and-play device that allows you to be connected to your car in multiple ways. Apart from the functions mentioned above, it also tells the user if she has missed car service dates or has forgotten insurance renewals. So, how does the device function?
The size of about two cubic inches, the DriveMate is activated when you plug it into a car’s OBD port—most modern cars have this port, generally hidden under the dashboard, near the accelerator and brake pedals.
For full activation, you have to buy the device, register your phone number with MapmyIndia, fill and submit the form on the website, and download the DriveMate app on your mobile phone. Only then the alerts and data are received on your mobile phone.
The best thing is that the device is simply plugged into the OBD port; there is no wire cutting required, so the user need not worry about how it will affect the car’s warranty.
Once activated, the user gets the data from the car’s dashboard straight on to the phone screen. The app, among other things, shows the distance travelled by your car in a day, the total number of drives in a day, the speed trends of your car, and speeding and idling alerts.
If you have marked frequented areas in the app—such as your house, office, club, your child’s school—you will get alerts whenever your car enters or leaves these areas.The DriveMate makes your car safer too. I gave my car to a friend to drive and I got alerts whenever he did manoeuvres such as harsh braking, harsh acceleration or even sharp cornering.
If you activate the Share Location feature, it instantly shares your car’s location with your family and friends via messaging services. Using another feature called Live Location Data, you can see the real-timelocation of your vehicle on detailed maps which even show house numbers.
At times—and this often happens in basement parking of malls—people forget where they parked their car. Using the mobile app, you can get directions to your car. However, some times, the app is not able to correctly show on which basement level did you park!
Another useful feature is called Car Care, which is essentially a document wallet for storing soft copies of driving licence, insurance, registration, PUC and service documents.
What happens if someone tries to steal the device from the car itself? As soon as somebody unplugs the DriveMate device from the car, the server sends SMS/email alerts on the contact configured by you. You can even view the device location on the mobile app and get directions to the device.
The DriveMate is essentially a car log. The app doesn’t delete any data from the server. This means that the history is stored from the time you first started using the DriveMate. It is a very handy feature. For example, if you want to know where you went to in your vehicle on a particular day, say, two months ago and at what time, all you need to do is check online.
There is one niggling thing though about this whole experience. It’s that the device sends regular email alerts. I drove from Delhi to Jaipur and back, and when I opened my mailbox the second day, I saw over 50 alert mails. However, in case you want, you can enable or disable these alert notifications from DriveMate.
The DriveMate device costs R9,990 and comes with one-year free mobile app access, one-year SIM charges and unlimited email alerts. In case you want SMS alerts too, you have to buy a separate SMS package top-up. There is a DriveMate app available for iPhone, Android and Windows users, and can be downloaded from their respective stores.
In case you want more features, you can buy the DriveMate Max device, for R14,990. Apart from the DriveMate features, you also get features of Drivemate Max Program, which includes single-tap connection with your dealer, service centre or road-side assistance.
After first year of usage, you need to pay renewal charges of R2,400 per year.
1 year free mobile app access
1 year SIM charges
Unlimited email alerts
You have to buy separate
SMS package top-up
Service renewal is required after 1 year (R2,400 per year)
Estimated street price: R9,990