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Computer diagnostics are in just about every modern car, but when was the last time your mechanic gave you access to those diagnostics?
Meineke Car Care Centers will give you access to that data and other auto maintenance information using the Meineke Revvy. The Revvy is now on sale across the nation, and it is being tested in markets such as Charlotte, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
The Meineke Revvy is a vehicle connectivity system that puts auto maintenance on auto pilot and delivers freedom and peace-of-mind for America’s drivers, the company said.
The Meineke Revvy connects to vehicle onboard diagnostic systems, creating a fully connected car that delivers deeper insights into vehicle performance — no matter who is driving. It has onboard Wi-Fi that also turns the car into an entertainment center.
“The Meineke Revvy will improve the entire driving experience — changing how vehicles are driven, maintained and repaired with the industry’s first onboard system that connects cars and drivers,” said Danny Rivera, president of Meineke Car Care Centers, in a statement. “Not only does the Meineke Revvy learn and monitor you and your car, it also links to you a trusted service partner so you are always protected on the road.”
Built on the Vinli platform, with 4G LTE service powered by T-Mobile, the Meineke Revvy delivers a high-tech approach to taking care of the family car or a business vehicle. The device plugs into the vehicle’s OBD-II port and syncs with the car’s computer. Every time you turn on the engine, the Meineke Revvy scans all of the diagnostic codes to ensure all are in working order, monitors fuel mileage, and tracks vehicle performance and driving style.
Using the Meineke Revvy, drivers can access their dashboard and download a daily Driver Score and performance report, including: miles driven and location of vehicle; average and top speeds; hard brakes/acceleration; fuel used and efficiency (miles per gallon); engine load; travel routes and travel time; Wi-Fi hotspot data usage; where the vehicle was last parked; and vehicle diagnostics and check engine codes.
If a check engine code returns an error, the Meineke Revvy notifies the driver that maintenance or repairs are needed. It will also contact the neighborhood Meineke to arrange an appointment. All the driver has to do is drop off their vehicle at their neighborhood Meineke for service.
Rivera said in an interview with VentureBeat that the Revvy device arms the driver with knowledge about the alerts, such as a check engine light, that the driver can communicate to the mechanic. The mechanic no longer has a monopoly on the information about what might be wrong with the car. That can lead to more honest communication about what work has to be done on the car, said Mark Spain, vice president of automotive, at Vinli, in an interview.
With the Wi-Fi, drivers can create an on-board entertainment network with unlimited audio streaming through Music Freedom, including iHeart Radio, Pandora, Amazon, and more, plus unlimited video streaming through Binge On, including Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, without using their high-speed data, all with a qualifying T-Mobile Simple Choice mobile Internet plan.
In an interview, Rivera said that the company paid a lot of attention to security. Hackers have been able to access the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, the central data communications link in every car. But Rivera said that the connector in the Revvy has been modified so that it is missing a physical pin connector. So you can “listen to the CAN bus” but you can’t write to it and alter the systems of the car through the Revvy, Rivera said.
For Wi-Fi, there is no contract required, so drivers can pick a data plan and use Wi-Fi to meet all their connectivity needs on the road.
You can use the My Vinli official app to monitor your vehicle, manage your Wi-Fi, and browse for other apps to customize your driving experience. You can also track teen driver records with Beagle. And you can connect Revvy to Amazon Echo and the Amazon Alexa app.
The vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system is there to alert drivers of vehicle issues or maintenance needs. Knowing what the lights mean and proactively managing the vehicle’s maintenance can save thousands in repair costs and extend the life of the vehicle. The Revvy will be available at Meineke Car Care Centers in 2017. Meineke also has its own connected car app and a rewards program.
Updated 1/7/17: Added interview with Vinli and Meineke.