Volkswagen will be offering its DiBox device in Austria that records trips and tracks a car location. The DiBox allows its users to access data on their vehicles through a smartphone. Porsche Holding, Volkswagen’s retail unit, said in a statement that the DiBox is being offered for new and even older VW and Audi models.
Interested users could avail of the mini blackbox at just EUR299 ($350), and will have to shell out EUR49 in annual subscription fee. Volskwagen is offering the DiBox in Austria as it tries to measure the demand for connected-vehicle services in Europe. By making the DiBox available for older vehicles, “we’re democratizing the connected car,” Porsche Holding chief Alain Favey said in a statement.
The DiBox is the result of the collaboration between Porsche Holding Salzburg and Telekom Austria Group to advance innovations and applications in the field of connected cars. The new DiBOX serves as a standard platform that can be employed by different providers as well as freelance programmers.
The DiBOX is a small digital box that is fitted into the car that allows owners to keep in touch with their vehicles. It allows car owners to know the location of the car, determine whether the lights are off or to see if doors and windows are shut. Car owners can access these and other data and information through an app on a smartphone. Of course, they need to be connected to the Internet.
New buyers of Porsche cars, as well selected Audi and Volkswagen (both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) in Austria can already order of the new DiBOX as an accessory for new units. It will available for retrofitting into order VW and Audi models starting in the second quarter of 2015. Retrofitting of the DiBox into Das WeltAuto-branded vehicles will also be available in the second quarter of the year.
According to Richard Mieling, a spokesman for Porsche Holding, Volkswagen is aiming to sell around 6,000 units of the DiBox in 2015. VW is also planning offer the device for its other brands as well as in other European markets.
Volkswagen and BMW as well as number of carmakers are developing vehicle wireless connection that would add safety features that provides warn to other vehicles over traffic jams while moving to realize autonomous driving.
The European Union is planning to make a requirement that new vehicles should be fitted with a system that automatically send emergency service notifications following a serious crash.