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Voyomotive’s new device brings old cars up to speed with connected apps

I think we can all agree that technology is pretty awesome. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading these words, I wouldn’t have a job, and Game of Thrones would probably just be a board game.

In the automotive world, new technology means alternative energy powertrains, better convenience features, safer cars, and — unfortunately for consumers — the perceived need to always upgrade. However, instead of ditching your ride for something new, Voyomotive has a solution: Just add functionality.

Founded in 2011, Voyomotive has developed a plug-and-play device to give any vehicle from 1996 or later a suite of connected car apps, while also providing streaming data for businesses.

Within each $100 Voyo controller is access to features normally reserved for luxury cars. By plugging the device into your car’s OBD II port and syncing it with your smartphone, your car will learn several new tricks:

  • “AutoKey” and “AutoTrunk” unlock/lock doors or pop the trunk based on proximity of an authorized phone.
  • “EcoStart” enables Auto Start/Stop technology to turn the car’s engine off at stoplights to save fuel and reduce emissions.
  • “Immobilization” requires the paired phone to be in the car during set time periods, protecting against car theft via recent remote hacking methods.
  • You can also monitor the speed and location of teen drivers or fleet cars, sending a notification to the paired phone when a set speed or perimeter is breached.

Beyond these features, the device has a few features directed at businesses and car fleets. Companies can track multiple vehicles on a single dashboard and can monitor swerving, panic stops, and the use of stability control.

Voyo claims its data can be also used by transit authorities to gain a better picture of driving behavior and by dealerships to track vehicle performance. Depending on how you feel about data sharing, this last bit might frighten you more than excite you, but all told, it sounds like simple way to give your aging car a technology refresh.

Beyond the $100 to purchase the controller, Voyomotive offers optional relays for $50 and a “Premium Pack” of additional features for a subscription fee of $30 per year.

Voyomotive will begin shipping its first devices to consumers starting in May.