Drivebot is a Fitbit for your car, helping you save grief, money, and gas

Drivebot - car Fitbit
There are plenty of wearable devices out there to help you monitor your health, but a team from Thailand has applied that same concept to cars. The Drivebot is a dongle that plugs into your car and links up to your smartphone so you can track your car’s health and become a more fuel-efficient driver. In other words, it’s a Fitbit for your car.

The white device plugs into a car’s OBD-II (on-bard diagnostic) port, which is included in all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. after Jan. 1, 1996. Once it pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, your car’s health (e.g., engine, transmission, brake and steering system status) can be monitored via the Drivebot app for iOS and Android phones.

Related: Zubie lets you monitor your car – and loved ones – with your smartphone

Beyond helping drivers stay on top of their automobile’s health so they can avoid costly “too late” visits to the auto mechanic, the Drivebot is meant to help save on fuel costs and time on the road by finding the best driving routes and offering tips for improved driving habits.

The Drivebot will retail for $119, but it’s available at a discount on its Indiegogo page. The team of five engineers doesn’t seem to mind resellers, as the crowdfunding page has a $1,300 package aimed at that specific audience, which offers 20 Drivebot devices at about 50 percent off retail.

The Indiegogo campaign, which began on Oct. 20 and closes on Nov. 29, has already raised more than $42,000 from more than 480 backers (the goal was $35,000). This unlocks the $40,000 stretch goal: a “special edition” Drivebot.

Shipments of the Drivebot and the launch of the iOS app are slated for February 2015, with the Android app expected to launch in March.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robo sidekicks, AC for your bed, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

8 easy ways for you to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC

If you haven't already, you should back up your photos to a computer. Here's how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC using third-party services and a wealth of storage devices.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

How autonomous ridesharing will reshape our cars, cities, and lives

Ridesharing is a growing phenomenon, and it’s closely linked with developments in autonomous and connectivity technology. In the coming decades, shared mobility will even change the way cities around the world develop.

You don’t need to go autonomous to make trucking safer

Long haul truckers are very good at their jobs, but they face long hours and unpredictable conditions. Autonomous tech may be coming, but here’s how lidar technology companies are working to enhance trucking safety today.

NHTSA investigating Ford F-150 seat belt fires, may recall 1.4 million trucks

The NHTSA is investigating reports of fires in five Ford F-150 pickup trucks. The NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigation is exploring whether seatbelt pretensioners caused the fires during crashes and if a recall is necessary.

2019 Honda Civic sedan and coupe add more standard driver-assist tech

The 2019 Honda Civic compact sedan and coupe get a handful of updates to stay fresh, including exterior styling tweaks, standard Honda Sensing driver aids, and a new Sport trim level.
Product Review

2019 Chevrolet Silverado is the biggest and best Silverado ever

There’s a lot to tell in our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado first drive review, from new engine options, new chassis and suspension design, new bed and tailgate features, new trailering tools, and new trim levels. Dive in and learn.

Danny Thompson just set a land speed record in a 50-year-old car

Danny Thompson, son of the late racing legend Mickey Thompson, has just taken his dad's Challenger 2 streamliner to a breathtaking speed of 450 mph. The feat makes it the fastest piston-powered vehicle in the world.

Porsche goes rallying, and it’s not with the model you’re thinking of

Porsche channeled its racing heritage to turn the 718 Cayman, not the Cayenne, into a rally car. The GT4-spec model was built as a fully functional concept, and it will participate in its first rally during August.
Product Review

You don't want a 360-degree dashcam, and this is why

What can 360° video do for your car? In the case of the new Waylens Secure360 dash camera, it watches for intruders and attempts to provide a complete picture of both the interior and exterior of your ride.

2019 Ford Ranger online configurator launched, pricing revealed

The 2019 Ford Ranger midsize pickup truck starts at $25,395, but a fully loaded version can top $40,000. The Ranger is making its return to the United States after a seven-year absence.