In the car world, it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
San Francisco-based firm Voyomotive has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its new VOYO connected car device. Using the OBDII port on cars of vintage 1996 and newer, the small plug allows owners of older vehicles to enjoy a variety of modern tech features like fuel-saving Start/Stop, advanced diagnostics for engine codes, and vehicle immobilization.
Through the Voyomotive Cloud and companion phone applications, users can also lock and unlock their doors automatically just by having their phone on them, track vehicles and traffic in the network a la Waze, and log individual trips to analyze mileage, driving time, gas used, and even CO2 produced. The product’s sleek look was provided by global design and strategy firm frog.
“If a consumer wanted to add all of the functionalities provided by the VOYO to their car individually on their own, it would cost well over $2,000,” said Peter Yorke, CEO of Voyomotive. “The VOYO provides all of these functionalities at approximately one-tenth of the cost, and will continue to expand on these capabilities.”
VOYO’s Start/Stop feature — called EcoStart — is definitely one of the highlights of the device, as it allows the driver to turn off their engine at a stop simply by adding additional pressure to the brake pedal. When they wish to set off again, just relax the brake and the vehicle will start by itself, all while staying in drive. VOYO also crowd-sources stoplight information through the companion app, so motorists will know exactly how much wait time they have left. However, EcoStart, as well as some other features, requires the purchase of additional relays.
The VOYO controller will initially go on sale for $100, with extra relays available for $50 each. If its goals are met, Voyomotive will ship the first 2,000 units out by the end of 2015, with a full U.S. product launch planned for the first quarter of 2016.
According to the company, setting up VOYO takes just two minutes.