Dash was one of the earliest and most design-focused apps to offer direct connectivity to your car via their OBD-II port, which is designed to provide mechanics with detailed stats and information. Now, the app is expanding beyond its own software with the Chassis API, a connected car platform that gives other developers access to fuel consumption and efficiency data, driving stats like hard braking and time spent speeding, and providing alerts for those activities.
Others are recognizing that accessing and working with a car’s OBD-II data could prove a lucrative market, given how much processing power we carry around in our pockets. Vinli, a Disrupt SF 2014 Battlefield participant, is offering up its own hardware and a developer platform, along with a host of sample apps, to show what’s possible here. Dash started out as a single app, but this API launch means it will be competing directly with Vinli, albeit using off-the-shelf hardware available on Amazon and elsewhere at costs ranging from just a few dollars to near a hundred.
Dash is also going to be competing with Navdy, the heads-up-display hardware platform that announced a $6.5 million seed round raise yesterday. The Chassis platform has “hundreds” of developers signed up pre-launch, however, and Dash already integrates with both Ford and GM’s in-car live assistance services, so it has its own advantages in being the dominated connected car app platform.
As of right now, any platform that uses the OBD port in your vehicle is limited in that it can’t write any information back to the car or it will void your warranty, but there’s still massive opportunity in collecting, analyzing and providing feedback on the information read from the car in action. And while Apple and Google are both offering software solutions that provide platforms for in-car app development, Dash and its ilk are offering another tool for devs to use in creating this software, which could make for very advanced vehicular software experiences.