The Samsung Connect Auto dongle marks the Korean tech company’s entrance into the connected car race.
However it’s not a service such as Android Auto or CarPlay, but rather a dongle that slots into the OBD-II port in your vehicle.
Car occupants can get WiFi internet with Samsung Connect Auto
Rival services integrate with the dashboard display on your car in order to add smartphone-like functionality, but the Samsung Connect Auto provides a WiFi hotspot for occupants of your vehicle.
The device will be a boon for those who don’t want to use up all of their data plan on long journeys, and will use an LTE cellular network to connect to the internet. In the United States the connection will be made via the AT&T network.
The price of the dongle has not yet been confirmed, nor has the cost of a monthly subscription. PC Mag predicts that it will cost around $10 per month.
Samsung looking to compete with rival auto dongles
Alongside the WiFi connection it is thought that the Samsung Connect Auto will offer similar tracking services as other OBD-II dongles.
“Samsung also encourages safe driving behavior by using geo-fencing and driver rating algorithms. In the event of an accident, emergency alerts notify the driver’s contacts and accident concierge services are provided. A ‘Find My Car’ app also helps in locating your car in real-time using LTE and GPS,” reads the company’s description.
The Samsung Connect Auto will also have the capability to inform the driver about errors or issues that the car is suffering. The dongle will be able to decode the error messages that your car sends, making it easier to find out exactly what the issue is.
Samsung is apparently working on a number of deals with different auto manufacturers in order to have the dongle preinstalled in various cars. The company is also exploring partnerships with insurance carriers.
Customers may be asked to share driving data with their insurance carrier in order to receive discounts based on good habits. Reckless drivers might be better off keeping that data to themselves.
According to the latest reports the Samsung Connect Auto will be released in Q3 2016.