Vinli wants us all to be connected in our cars, using apps as seamlessly as we do on our smartphones — hopefully, in a safe way.
Dallas-based Vinli is announcing today it has reached agreements with Meineke Car Care and Cox Automotive to bring connected car capabilities to customers via a 4G LTE wireless data service powered by T-Mobile.
Vinli has 47 apps compatible with its in-car hardware platform (a $200 device), and hundreds more are in the pipeline. The company is working with the Meineke automotive supply chain to create what it hopes to be the largest app ecosystem for cars.
Meineke will offer installations to Meineke Rewards Members at their stores beginning in October. Vinli is integrating with their systems to make car maintenance easier and more transparent for both individual drivers and fleet operators.
Vinli is also creating a Connected Dealership Program with Cox Automotive. This program puts Vinli in all cars sold in a dealership. The dealerships get a complete lot management solution, while car buyers get a built-in connectivity package, with service powered by T-Mobile.
“Two years ago, we had this radical idea of bringing connectivity to every car on the road,” said Mark Haidar, CEO at Vinli, in a statement. “With our companies working together on a shared goal, the entire automotive industry benefits and, ultimately, so does every driver.”
Vinli offers its customers an in-car telematics solution, with service supporting apps, safety services, and advanced diagnostics. In addition, customers have the option to upgrade to deliver Wi-Fi in the car, enabling music and video streaming for passengers using their smartphones.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Vinli on our joint vision to connect every car on the road. The connected car market, and extensive automotive ecosystem, present a unique opportunity for T-Mobile to address customers’ needs by bringing yesterday’s vehicles into the modern era with in-car connectivity and real-time vehicle information,” said Doug Chartier, a senior vice president at T-Mobile, in a statement.
Utilizing the Vinli platform, Meineke is making vehicle maintenance for customers more open and transparent. Now car owners can get real-time alerts, from oil change reminders to decoded check engine lights, and easily schedule an appointment at their nearest Meineke Car Care Center. Fleet operators can also track vehicle performance and location in real time. The app shows you contextual information and a timeline for when you need to get maintenance.
“We see Vinli as a perfect fit for the innovative way Meineke approaches car care,” said Danny Rivera, president and CEO of Meineke, in a statement. “Their open platform will introduce new ways to empower car owners on the road, no matter what car, or for what purpose, they drive.”
Sales and installations will be available to Meineke Rewards customers at select Meineke Car Care Centers in October 2016.
Meanwhile, Cox Automotive will offer Vinli’s platform through its network of 40,000 dealer clients. By installing Vinli into cars on the dealer lot, dealerships gain access to a smart and fully integrated tool that shows live vehicle location, vehicle health management, and driving history. When someone buys a car, Vinli gives every driver the ability to create the custom connected car experience they want with in-car Wi-Fi, apps, and safety services.
Among the Vinli apps available are Dash, which lets you check vehicle data in real time; Everface, which lets you track mileage expenses; and Betterways, which keeps tabs on fleets.
Vinli spun out of the Dialexa Labs incubator in 2014. Backers include Samsung, Cox Automotive, Continental, The Westly Group, and First Round Capital.