The AA has launched a self-install gadget that predicts vehicle breakdowns before they happen.
Car Genie simply plugs into a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBDII) port and it can report what is going on under the bonnet and predict up to a third of breakdowns.
Data is viewable in a corresponding mobile app and in the event of a problem, a message is sent as a push notification, which the driver can pick up before or after a journey. In the message, an error code is given along with a simple explanation, supplying the driver with the knowledge to seek help.
After a trial of 10,000 drivers, the AA says claims Car Genie has the capability to prevent more than a third of breakdowns (38%) by helping drivers to identify faults early.
Correctly diagnosed issues include those related to the ignition coil, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve and mass air flow (MAF) sensor.
The device is also able to detect certain accidents by registering changes in speed vs g-force, and offer AA members a solution at the roadside in the event of a collision.
In addition, Car Genie assesses driving style by giving users an ‘eco score’ – assessing speed, braking and acceleration. Based on the user’s score, the app then offers fuel efficiency tips to save money.
It can even help recover a stolen car by using the app and GPS to locate the car, or find a car lost in a large car park.
“As the UK’s leading breakdown service, we are always looking for ways to help keep drivers on the road and part of that is through our innovative technology,” said the AA’s Gareth Adams.
“The launch of Car Genie will revolutionise the breakdown service experience as we know it.
“We will monitor the health status of our Members’ cars, help them understand their driving style, and at the touch of a button our experts will be there to support if there’s a problem.”
Car Genie costs £29 for a yearly subscription (exclusively for AA members) and is available to order now.