Tuesday 22 November 2016, By Autovolo
A new remote diagnostic system trialed by the AA identified nearly one-fifth of vehicle problems before they caused a car to break down.
The “AA Connect” trial involved 10,000 cars, 17 per cent of which developed faults that the AA could identify and repair before they caused the car to fail.
This came in addition to the system noticing battery issues that could prevent a car from starting in cold conditions.
The vehicles that participated in the test had a small device plugged into the diagnostic ports. This monitored data such as battery condition, engine management and electrics. By analysing these data feeds, the system could identify a problem before it triggered a warning light.
Alan Ferguson, head of AA Connected Car, thought that the trial’s results were encouraging.
“Although there is work still to do, we have been able to pinpoint potentially serious faults on some cars,” he said.
“The data is sent real-time back to the AA as well as to the user via a supporting easy-to-use smartphone app. Although nearly nine in ten (85 per cent) users check the app daily, we also alert drivers by text if we pick up a potential issue.”
AA Connect is also able to track a vehicle’s location, and can monitor driving characteristics such as speed, cornering, braking and acceleration. Combined, this information could help drivers lower their vehicle insurance premiums.
Ferguson continued: “This is an early analysis but the results are extremely encouraging.
“As the AA looks to offer a connected car product to members, it is clear that breakdowns can be averted, providing an excellent customer experience as well as reducing pressure on the AA’s roadside resources.
“The trial has brought some interesting cases, including a major fault on a member’s vehicle prior to the family setting off on a European driving holiday which could have led to a potentially costly and disruptive breakdown in France.”
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