Sure, Xzibit pimped your ride with hydraulics, seat-back flat screen TVs, and a flame-motif paint job, but the new Android app Dash can turn your four-wheeler into a wirelessly connected smart car. It has been billed as a FitBit for cars, working in tandem with a hardware activity tracker of sorts to monitor and analyze real-time data about you and your car’s performances. With Dash, every aspect of driving can be more seamless.
That’s right—the vehicle of the future has been sitting in your driveway this entire time. Dash connects your smartphone (iOS coming soon!) to all car models made in or after 1996 with an ink cartridge-sized device that locks into your car just under the steering wheel. This OBD is the brain, connecting with the app via Bluetooth to unload data that can help you drive safer, save money, and stay social at the same time. Sounds good to us!
As we mentioned, Dash not only monitors your car’s performance, like alerting you when the “check engine” light flashes on. Many of its features are specifically designed to make you a savvier driver on the go, like helping you to detect crashes and find the cheapest gas nearby. But in an age when it’s hip to be super self aware—even in our sleep!—Dash’s most intriguing feature is that it completely breaks down your current journey in real time. View your mileage, travel time, how much gas you’re using (in dollars) and how many miles you’re getting per gallon all on the same screen.
Here’s the kicker: once you’ve reached your destination, your trip is given a score out of 100 to incentivize better driving (cue Driver’s Ed flashbacks). You can then compare your scores with friends who also use Dash and even earn virtual bumper stickers and discounts as your score gets higher—remember, this type of competitive driving is the exact opposite of Fast and Furious, so +1 for making a complete stop at that Stop sign.
If you ask us, Dash is a welcome addition to our activity tracking-saturated world. Besides seeming like something we could very easily integrate into our everyday driving routine, we’re all for making travel more efficient. After all, less time behind the wheel means more time to make!
What are the latest driving apps and gadgets every commuter must have? Which are your favorite to use? Tell us in the comments below.