Singapore startup Carmen has plans to make your car smarter, and it's doing so by tapping into the power of the cloud.
Much like Verizon's Hum service in the US, Carmen uses an On Board Diagnostic reader that's connected to your phone via Bluetooth, reads your car data through an app and then uploads it to the cloud for analysis -- providing real time driving data on your phone.
If your car is in danger of suffering a breakdown, either due to a failing battery or engine, you'll be alerted through SMS or the mobile app. You can also read a history of your journey through an online dashboard. In the event that a breakdown does happen, Carmen says a future version of the app will allow a user to contact a workshop through the app to get the car towed and serviced.
While this all sounds great, there's a slight catch. OBD ports are only found in cars made after around 2009, and Carmen's device currently only works with Toyota, Honda and Nissan cars, though more brands will be added soon. These three brands have been identified as the most prevalent ones in Asia, especially in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. Carmen also plans to expand its service to Australia very soon.
Before it launches in these new markets though, Carmen's service will be available in its home country of Singapore. The company plans to retail its product in September for S$120 (roughly $90 or AU$120), and from the second year onwards you'll need to pay S$40 ($30 or AU$40) a year to use the online cloud analytics service.