Carnot Product review report 2
We introduced you to the Carnot’s OBD device in our first report explaining how you can install and use it in your car. In this report we found out how useful the device can be. We plugged it in one of our long term fleet of cars - the Hyundai Creta. An analysis for over 15 days shows the following most important features that you will find quite useful.
Live Car Tracking
Carnot claims it can track your vehicle via GPS anywhere in the world. We too were able to track the car whether it was parked or on the move in most places in Mumbai. In fact, the device monitored the trips even out on the highway and in remote regions of North Maharashtra. The only downside was that it couldn’t map the regions accurately where there was absolutely no mobile range. Nonetheless, it is pretty amazing how it accurately shows the location and speed of the car when online. In addition to that, the map also shows the fuel stations as a prominent marker.
You can also add home, office, school etc. as bookmarks through the geo-fencing feature on the app. Once you define the specific region, which you can easily decide on the map, you will get an update that your car has entered or exited that specific area. Very useful if in case your car is chauffeur-driven or being driven by any other family member.
The device creates detailed performance reports and trip logs for every ride you make. The total time and distance travelled is calculated to show you the average speed. Then, based on the data available from the OBD port and Carnot’s proprietary algorithms, the car’s fuel efficiency is tabulated. You also get a driving score according to your road mannerisms including over-speeding, hard acceleration or braking, eco-driving, idling and good gear changes. The higher the score – the better you drive! You can also share this information with your friends through mail or social media platforms, right from the app.
The OBD port brings together all the data about the health of the car from the on-board computer. The Carnot device acts as a transmitter to show this data on your smartphone. You will be warned if there is anything wrong with the car – for example, if the battery charge or engine oil is low or for that matter if the coolant’s temperature is getting too high. We did get a coolant high temperature alert suggesting a coolant upgrade, even when the car’s coolant temperature indicator was normal. But, we also noticed this warning was given out only when the car was idling for a long time.
Towing and Rash Driving Alerts
The device sends out a rash driving alert if the car exceeds the speed limit as set on the app. Another smart feature that differentiates this OBD device from the ones available in the market is the towing alert. In case your car is towed, you will get a notification. We guessed that this is because the car’s engine isn’t on, but the car’s location is changing. But, there's an in-built accelerometer that helps in this case. Also if the car is stolen and an attempt to remove the device is made, an alert is sent to your smartphone with the last location recorded.
Accident Alert and Roadside Assistance
Fortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to test the accident alert feature, but we hope the accelerometer will do its job in case of any untoward incident. For more details we called the roadside assistance number through the app (02266022673). We were promised free assistance within the city and up to 25km outside the city. The technicians will reach the spot for any assistance like engine breakdown, drained battery, flat tyre, fuel need etc. The owner will have to bear the fuel charges but will not be charged for the labour. In case of a major breakdown, your vehicle will be towed to the nearest workshop free of charge. However, this is for vehicles dated not more than 10 years old. Other conditions apply.
Customer Care Support
After-sales service is very important for any product and Carnot receives our thumbs up for every call we purposely made to get information. The customer care service (02261781818) is very prompt, cooperative, polite and well-informed. They provided all information we needed as a novice or an expert.
Anything else I should know?
So, what about compatibility of the device and will it affect the car’s warranty? You’ve seen in our installation guide how we just plugged the OBD device into the car without having to cut any wires. So it won’t affect car’s warranty. And as we mentioned in the introductory report, the device is compatible with any car in the world manufactured post 2008. However, it should be noted that wherever there is no network, it won’t be able to show you the exact location of the car. The last recorded location will be stored and updated once internet data is back.
The accelerometer on the device also senses vibrations and changes in orientation of the vehicle. Carnot's team is currently building proprietary algorithms for the same, which will soon be able to detect vandalism. They are constantly working on any bugs or errors and updating the app. So also keep expecting time-to-time software updates. Soon you might get to renew your insurance or book a service through the app. A similar device is also being developed for bikes as well.
Cars surely help in transportation from point A to point B. But for most Indian families they are more than that. We always want to know if it is safe, where it is and same is the case with the occupants. Carnot not only makes sure you can track your car with real-time updates, but also provides you information about your trips and keep a track of where and how much your vehicle has travelled. Helping you improve your driving style is another added benefit through the on-board drive score manager.
At present, there are not many OBD port managers that provide such detailed and comprehensive data regarding your car. So, at Rs 5,999, which is a one-time-charge for the device and one year of data subscription and roadside assistance, it makes for a worthy investment. And with an annual charge of just Rs 900 after the first year, surely you could consider it to be a part of your car’s periodic maintenance plan. After all, regardless of whether it’s a big or a small car, this is one mobile asset that you would definitely want to keep track of. And Carnot does this job well!
Pictures by Kapil Angane