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New adapter reveals what’s wrong with your car — without a trip to the repair shop

Posted: 19 February 2020 7:08 pm

Carly’s diagnostic adapter tracks your car’s health, mileage and other useful data to help you save.

After its success in the European market, German-based cartech company Carly launched its universal diagnostic adapter in the US last week.

The adapter plugs in to the onboard diagnostics port (OBD) of all car brands and models built from 2000 onwards. It also pairs with an app, which is available on the Apple and Google Play stores for $79.90, with an annual subscription fee ranging from $0 to $64.

Carly’s Universal Adaptor is designed to give drivers access to the digital data that’s locked inside their car’s “black box” and empower them to make informed decisions about their vehicle.

It assesses a car’s faults and rates its health from “excellent” to “very bad.” It also tracks the oil temperature and engine parameters in real-time. By doing this, the adapter can help drivers identify issues and defects up to six months before the car activates the warning light on the dashboard.

Along with health checks, the adapter can detect any instances of mileage tampering, which can help consumers in the market for used cars. For some brands, including BMW, Volkswagen and Audi, the adapter can also customize a car’s lights and audible notifications.

Carly is expecting the adapter to have the same enthusiastic response it had in Europe.

“We saw that there was already a lot of demand for a product like Carly in the US, with 30% of our existing sales coming from US customers organically and our company seeing 50-100% growth annually,” Carly founder and CEO Avid Avini said when announcing the launch.

“Most American consumers aren’t aware of this potential access to their car’s data. We’re excited to educate and empower US drivers, transforming the relationship they have with their cars,” Avini said.

How this information can help you cut costs

Usually, consumers need to wait for their car to signal a problem. Carly is the first company to offer a direct-to-consumer data solution through the Universal Adapter. By flagging problems as soon as they appear, the device can help drivers to repair their car before the fault becomes severe, and reduce their maintenance costs in the long run. It can also offer a second opinion when you’re at the mechanic.

Carly believes users can save an average of $500 on car maintenance each year.

“By using Carly to diagnose issues ahead of a mechanic, you can save on additional diagnostic tests as well as avoiding a problem before it even starts,” Avini said.

The adapter can also help used car buyers verify the dealership’s claims and avoid purchasing a car with potential flaws.

The rise of black box insurance

As technology advances, black box insurance is becoming more popular.

Also known as “pay-as-you-go insurance,” this coverage involves installing a telematics device — sometimes called a black box — in your car to track your mileage, speed, braking patterns and other driving habits. The data is sent to your insurance company, which then uses it to set your rate and offer rewards for safe drivers and those who don’t often drive.

Most large carriers across the US offer telematics discounts, including GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and State Farm, and there are insurers that specialize in “pay-by-the-mile” insurance.

These telematics programs give people insights into their driving and offer advice to improve their braking speed and smoothness — but the data ultimately belongs to the insurer. Carly’s Universal Adapter is unique because it allows drivers to access to this sophisticated data, which they can use to make decisions about their car and driving habits.

A good black box score can reduce your premiums significantly.

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