• Connected Car is a new product by the Automobile Association.
• Connected Car will track several vehicle movements and will give real-time feedback.
• The feature is available to all motorists in South Africa.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
In a significant step towards empowering motorists with information on their driving behaviour and vehicle performance, the Automobile Association (AA) has launched AA Connected Car.
The product is a combination of hardware and software and is available to motorists across South Africa.
The launch of AA Connected Car is in line with the AA's 2030 Strategy and Vision to provide a connected ecosystem and digital aggregation, which is intended to provide convenience and value to the public.
The product will give individual drivers and fleet managers access to a wide range of data which is easily accessible online via desktop or mobile devices, and which will enable them to save money and improve their or their drivers' safety on the road.
(Mohssen Assanimoghaddam / Getty Images)
An essential feature
The feature, which provides access to a Digital Logbook, for instance, is especially convenient for individual motorists, business owners, and fleet managers who want to use the data for tax purposes. The data collected is owned by the driver or Fleet Manager, to which no third party has access.
The fact that the data collected is owned by the owner of the vehicle and not shared with any third party (unless the owner wishes to do so) is an essential feature of the new product. In a survey conducted by the AA in late 2018, 84% of owners said the data collected should be theirs and not shared with anyone else, as is the case with some similar options available on the market.
In a recent position paper on car connectivity, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) noted that "Connectivity should lead to a decrease of breakdowns, anticipatory maintenance for better reliability, reduce costs and increase convenience for users".
Owners can analyse the collected data, provided by AA Connected Car, to drive safer and more economically. It includes information on elements such as harsh braking, cornering and acceleration, speeding, and low battery notifications. The data can also be used to effectively manage costs and is easily downloaded online or on mobile. AA Connected Car can also track vehicles, an attractive feature for fleet owners.
An added benefit of AA Connected Car is that it gives parents and guardians of young and new drivers some comfort knowing they can determine the movements of their vehicles. They can also detect specific problems with their children's vehicles, should they occur.
AA Connected Car is being launched in partnership with MiX Telematics Africa, who is providing the technology which supports the service.
This venture is part of the AA's ongoing efforts to make South African roads safer.
Willem Groenewald is the CEO of the Automobile Association of South Africa.