OpenbayConnect will diagnose car problems, schedule repairs automatically, from Autoweek.
PRIVACY QUESTIONS STILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED
Among the flurry of debuts at the recent New York International Auto Show was the launch of a new telematics-based service which may illustrate the future of automotive maintenance — a future that raises questions.
Openbay, a Boston-based startup that already hosts an online marketplace for auto repair, announced it will roll out a limited offering of its OpenbayConnect service by May. OpenbayConnect, the company explains, “leverages connected-car technology to remotely diagnose automotive vehicle problems and deliver competitive repair quotes to consumers from local mechanics.”
Users plug an external device supplied free of charge (and owned) by the company into their vehicles’ OBD-II port. The device wirelessly sends vehicle condition data back to Openbay daily. In the event that error codes are read, an alert is sent to users’ phones via an OpenbayConnect app or online via email.
Approved service providers also are alerted via the Openbay platform, receiving the car’s vehicle identification number, model/make, owner, location and error codes. Service providers use the info to send an offer to complete the service, along with a binding price. The user then selects a shop and schedules an appointment. After the agreed-upon repair or maintenance is performed, Openbay automatically processes payment via credit card or Apple Pay.