Samsung has ventured into the connected car accessories market with the unveiling of its Connected Auto dongle at the MWC on 21 February. The dongle provides users with the ability to connect their cars to the internet.
Samsung is by no means the first tech company to offer connected car features. However, unlike most of its rivals, the tech firm has developed a device that allows users with even older car models to seamlessly connect their automobiles to the internet.
Samsung said, "Samsung Electronics is helping drivers embark on a new journey through its ground-breaking connected car solution, Samsung Connect Auto. Providing benefits to consumers and businesses alike, Samsung is delivering an ecosystem of services and products to enable a safer, more eco-friendly and more fun driving experience."
The Connect Auto device operates on Samsung's Tizen OS and it "plugs directly into the OBD II port" placed below the steering wheel in most cars. It can monitor the vehicle's performance when connected. It also offers users "real-time alerts" on eco-friendly driving abilities and driver behaviour. The device makes use of algorithms that calculate travel time, fuel used, and price of fuel per gallon to offer drivers "increased fuel efficiency".
Samsung's executive vice president and head of R&D, Dr Injong Rhee said, "We have been listening to our customers and pushing boundaries to create a connected car ecosystem that seamlessly integrates our products and partner services for a better driving experience." Samsung has partnered with leading wireless network service providers like Orange, AT&T, Global Telematics and AXA to power its Connected Auto device.
Samsung's Connect Auto makes use of a 4G LTE hotspot installed onboard a vehicle to connect drivers to the internet. It also streams data directly from the host to a cloud-based server, which then analyses data to provide users with real time GPS location services. The device can also be connected to various Android and iOS smartphone apps to provide drivers with information on safety services.
Samsung has said that it intends to make the dongle available to users in the US by the second quarter of 2016. The company also plans to release its Gear 360 cameras at the same time.