The device works through a smartphone app to notify the driver. (Photo : Zubie)
Zubie is the plug-in device that can bring even cars from the late 1990s to modern connectivity, The New York Times reported.
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Described as about the size of a matchbox or Fig Newton, the Zubie attaches into a car's OBD-II diagnostics port. The receptacle, which is found in all vehicles built since 1996, is usually located under the dashboard, according to the Times.
With its own GPS receiver and cellular data connection, the device stays connected at any spot with a cell signal, keeping track of the vehicle's location and allowing information to be shared with family and friends.
The Zubie costs $99.95, which includes a year of unlimited tracking and monitoring. Through the Zubie app, drivers can track trips, log driver actions and examine diagnostic data--the app even gives "plain-language" explanations of check engine warnings.
According to the Times report, the device has something of a "nanny aspect" to it due to its records of driving incidents that bother insurance companies and the like.
The app will take note of when the driver uses a "hard brake," and clicking on the notification will reveal exactly when and where strong deceleration occurred on the trip.
The device also tracks rapid acceleration, top speed and idling times. All the information garnered through the app can be shared on Facebook if the driver is somehow inclined to do so.
Drivers aren't required to share their locations through the app, although location can be shared automatically through groups. While the groups feature can be useful for families, app users can turn down requests from people they don't want in their driving group.
The app is also handy for monitoring a new driver, issuing alerts when a car reaches excessive speed or goes beyond a predetermined distance.