Why should racing teams have all the fun? – is what we at RushLane had been thinking as we were hoping to come across a simple device that can give us basic driving-stats of a car. The important part was that it should be plug and play without having our benevolent car manufacturer getting angry at us for fiddling with the vehicle trying to pull out, connect and tie up wires, wires and wires. Not to mention how happy my boss gets when he can track my every movement, the speed I’m doing and what not, when I escape with the media car-ditching him.
Introducing ‘QuikrScanner for cars’ which is not much like the QuikrScanner for iPhone which is a diagnostic app to find if the car is still in order before selling or buying. QuikrScanner for cars is a small device that can be connected to a car’s OBDII port so that it shares some details that the ECU knows already but doesn’t say out loud, through an app by the same name. For now the app is available only on PlayStore (on Android devices) and Apple Store (for iOS devices).
The prominent features of Quikr Scanner include real-time car location tracking, getting notified when the car enters programmed places, anti-theft alarm, car health report, intuitive statistics/reports on fuel economy (mileage), and detailed information on each trip the car has made. All it needs is a SIM card with an active data plan. The phone that is used to read all the info need not be connected all the time. The device maintains a log of all the stats and uploads them to Quikr’s server using the data connection through the SIM. The data is then synced to the paired phone when it gets connected to internet. So, in order to receive the location notification (if assigned) and anti-theft alert, the phone should have internet access all the time which is not much to ask for these days.
The device can be programmed to feed data to any mobile phone. For eg, if your child’s school van has the device installed, you can program the device to feed the data to your phone. Similarly, all parents can do the same.
The process is simple. Before or after the device is plugged into the OBD2 port of a car, download the app, using the device ID link it to the phone and create a password for the unit, input the car’s basic information like its make, model, engine displacement and the like, and create a profile for the vehicle.
On the main page you will see the car’s present location with the address, and the time since it was parked if it indeed has been. Below, you will find the trip dashboard which will give basic information about the last trip. Beneath that, the link to the driving alerts during that particular trip is given, and to its left is the charts button which shows the overall statistics of the car during each week.
The round button with the right arrow icon, on the top right corner of the map can be used to navigate you to the location of the car, in case you’ve parked it somewhere and you need help to reach it.The clock-like button above that can be used to open the Trip History page which we will discuss later down this page. The bell button will open the notification page that will let you see the location notifications that you may have set for this car. The icon below it will simple zoom the map to the spot where the car is parked, in case you moved the map away. The triple line button on the upper left corner of the screen will drag the main menu onto the screen.
The aforementioned weekly charts page shows the overall distance the car has covered in that week, along with the number of trips it has taken, the average speed it has maintained, the average mileage it has returned, the number of driving alerts the driver has managed to prompt, the total duration the car has been idling, the ratio of inconsistency in fuel consumption and the count of each driving alert caused. The driving alerts include over speeding, high acceleration, sudden braking, over revving and long idling, all of which can be configured from the main menu. During out test run of the QuickrScanner we had set the over speeding limit as 60 km/h.
The location notification option can be programmed to send out an alert to the phone if the car reaches or gets close to a specific location. For instance, you will get notified when your chauffeur reaches your office to pick you up, or when your son/daughter has reached his/her college. How you reap the benefit of this feature is totally dependent on how creative you can get.
The health check menu, albeit a modest interface, offers quick readings of the Continuous & Non Continuous monitors of the OBD-II system. The malfunction indicator alert from the Fault code (referred as Diagnostic Trouble Code – DTC), stored in vehicle’s ECU, is popped up in the Quikr Scanner App. These notifications are translated from DTC with relevant alert in easy to understand status for the user, as an example, DTC code for Coolant Thermostat Malfunction is P0128, Quick Scanner seamlessly unifies the alerts under relevant category.
The Trip History menu is what we cherished the most. The drive between every stop/break is considered as one trip, and the stats of the car during that period is recorded individually. The app shows the route you took, where all a driving alert was prompted, the average mileage during that drive, the average speed, and the time taken. The start and destination addresses and timestamps are not to be missed in the list. What is particularly fascinating in the trip history page is that every alert generated is so informative, right down to the time it was caused, exact location, nature of the alert with pertinent detail such as speed in the case of over speeding, and duration in the case of long idling. The speed at which we braked hard and until what speed, is absolutely noteworthy.
If you think ‘what am I going to do with all these data, its not like I haven’t lived with a car before!’ this device just might save you a lot of trouble when you’re entrusting the car with a family member, firend or a driver, or if you meet with the unfortunate incident of having your car stolen (provided your car’s ODB2 port is relocated to a hidden place by a mechanic if it is too obvious like the case of our Maruti Celerio).
Priced from INR 1,499, you can buy yours from here QuikrScanner for Cars.