There isn’t a parent out there that has woken up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby, looked down into the crib and said “I can’t wait till you’re old enough so I don’t have to do this anymore.” But as the kid gets older the parent is faced with a whole bunch of new challenges. That parent looks at that grown up kid and thinks, “I miss the days when you were a little thing in your crib.”
My daughter is that grown up kid who recently got her G1 licence and wants to start venturing out by driving herself. I’m not one of those helicopter parents that has to monitor every step she takes, but I am concerned when she gets behind the wheel of the car. New drivers often make mistakes while driving so keeping track of how and where she drives can provide me a certain “peace of mind”.
Rogers recently launched their new device called Rogers Smart Drive which basically performs two functions. First of all, it functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Secondly, and most importantly, it provides information about your vehicle like location, battery life, distance driven on a particular trip, fuel level and engine diagnostics all in real time.
Installing the device into your car couldn’t be easier all you need is a car with an OBD-II port (all cars manufactured since 1996 has one), a smart phone and follow the steps in the video below.
The Rogers Smart Drive creates a WiFi hotspot inside your car and allows up to five devices to be connected at any one time. I’m from Trinidad, so when I’m driving to and from work soca is blasting from my speakers. Its the only think that help me get through traffic on some days. Whenever the kids are in the car they’re either on YouTube or Snapchatting with their friends.
As you can see in the video above, you need to download the Rogers Smart Drive app before you can start using the features that come with this device. One of the safety features you can find in the app is the Car Overview. This is where you can see your fuel level, battery life, and your engine diagnostics. For example, If your fuel level drops below 20% the app will notify you and even allow you to click on a button to help you find the closest gas station.
Another feature that I really is the ability to get trip details. I can either get details from the trip history or I can get real time details if my daughter is out and about with the car. The app will give me a starting and ending point, show me the route that was taken, how many times there were rapid accelerations or harsh braking and how many times the car was just idling. If I drive a certain route on a frequent basis I can use the statistics from each trip to help me adjust my driving habits.
Each trip can be classified as ‘Personal’ or ‘Business’ so for people who need to supply driving records to their employers this device can be quite helpful.
The device also allows you to set a geofence which is basically a set radius from a specified location. A parent can use this feature if they told their teen that they can only use the car to drive to a particular location. If the car goes beyond that location a notification is displayed on the app.
Pricing of this Rogers Smart Device starts at $8.29/monthfor 24 months, or you can purchase it outright for $199. Cellular service is also required and this will cost $10/month, on your Share Everything plan.
Should you get this device?
To be honest some of the features that come with this can be replicated just by using your smartphone, but the information gathered from the OBD-II port cannot. Then there’s the matter of the cost. Paying $200 plus $10 a month does seem a bit high, but if your kids are new drivers or about to embark on driving, it may be a worthy investment.
I really do like the features offered by the Rogers Smart Drive, installation is very easy and it works well. If you have a teen driver driver in the house then this device does provide you with the information you need to monitor how and where they’re driving. As a car owner you would need to decide if these monitoring tools, along with the diagnostics, WiFi hotspot, and vehicle location information is worth the cost.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated monetarily for this article but I was supplied with one of the Rogers Smart Drive devices for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.