TomTom has announced a new product aimed at enabling easy access to information about vehicles using a smartphone. The product is from Tomtom Business Solutions and will be called the TomTom Link 100 dongle. The product is intended to allow third parties to build a range of applications for mobile devices that are able to make use of vehicle information and driving data.
The Link 100 is able to log vehicle diagnostic information including engine RPM, load, and temperature. The information is gathered directly from the vehicle's onboard diagnostics port. The Link 100 also features a built-in 3-D accelerometer able to log driver behavior data. That means if you break the speed limit or drive erratically, the Link 100 will record that.
The device sounds like hardware that will find its way into devices such as those insurance companies use to see your driving style and give you discounts. TomTom specifically says that the Link 100 is designed for the automotive, leasing, insurance, and roadside assistance industries. The manufacturer believes that the product will help these industries build devices to help end-users benefit from connected car technology.
One of the main functions of the Link 100 is to offer accident detection and record crash logs. TomTom sees the product as an evolution of usage-based insurance products and solutions designed to help the leasing industry reduce risk. This is a black box that helps industries keep an eye on vehicles and drivers at its core. However, it does has functionality for drivers as well allowing them to connect their smartphone to their vehicle to gain a look at their driving performance to identify where they can improve. It's also worth noting that driver proxies maintain the calls the Link 100 does not have GPS or the ability to report vehicle location.