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27 January 2016

Hangout with Honda - Honda Connect

Honda invited us over a few days back to hangout with them and learn what they have been up to and what's new with them. I have been following up with the auto industry and have been kind of fascinated by the way the cars behave now. The cars that are manufactured now have ECUs which are computers in their own word. The data from these can be read from a port that has been in all cars that were manufactured since 1996 in the USA. This port is known as an OBD2 port (On Board Diagnostics Version 2 Port). Wikipedia and Geek My Ride say that there is a treasure trove of data that can be unlocked and read. At best, to put it in short, this can unlock a minimum of Gas Efficiency, Car Location from an on board GPS Module, decode engine light reasons (Defect Tracking Code) etc. Using this, Honda has come up with an app that provides this information and more.

Honda Connect available from Google Play Store and iTunes provides the below features:

  • Track Fuel Efficiency
  • Track the trip details
  • Identify the location of the parked car
  • Identify the Service History and provide Service Reminders
  • Provide a method to contact the dealer to schedule an appointment.
  • Provide a direct connection with the Honda Call Center.
  • Send your location details to your loved ones so that they can track you when you are travelling there by reducing the pain of knowing where you have reached.
  • Distress Identification and Help from Honda
  • And many more features
We tested the application in real time to know how it performed under various conditions. We were given a Honda car and the application installed in our phones monitoring the car that we were driving. We were simply amazed by the sheer accuracy and the speed at which the enter set up performed including the Distress Id and Help. We induced a defect into the running car. We were told that the same car is visible on a dashboard to the employees at the Honda Call Center. They have a turn around time of less than 5 mins in each case. We received a call in less than 2 mins and the exact problem was explained to us. We were also directed to the nearest dealer and told that they would be expecting us. All in all, it was a pleasant experience using the app.