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A New Way to Connect to DIMO

January 5, 2022
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Summary:

  • We’re launching the ability to connect cars via SmartCar, a connected vehicle service.
  • Users who have an active subscription with a connected car app and whose OEM is on the compatibility list will be able to connect with the DIMO webapp.
  • If you do not have a subscription or your OEM is not on the list, you’ll have to use DIMO hardware.
  • Tokens will NOT yet be rewarded for driving. Rewards will launch in late February, with mainnet token rewards slated for Q2. You can read more about the road to the DIMO token here.

Connecting the First Cars to DIMO

At DIMO, we’re enabling people and fleets to collect data from their vehicles in as many useful ways as possible. Onboarding vehicles is the first step towards building a user-owned platform that can support open, safe, and clean mobility applications of the future.

Last month, we announced the ability to add your vehicle by VIN, as well as the DIMO x AutoPi Data Miner, which is a hardware device that plugs directly into a vehicle to collect and store data from nearly any car (although we’re only recommending it for cars less than 10 years old, for now).

Today, we’re excited to announce a new connectivity option that works for some cars — a software-only option that you can hook up for free without getting off the couch!

Users with newer vehicles that have an existing Connected Vehicle account (like FordPass or OnStar) can now connect their car to DIMO via a platform built by our partner Smartcar.

Not all cars are set up to support this option, but we decided to build it because roughly 50% of new cars today are already connected, and 75%+ will be in the next few years! DIMO automatically checks your vehicle’s compatibility and will offer you the ability to connect in the DIMO app if your car is on the list.

SmartCar has done an amazing job of building a tool that abstracts away the complexity of interacting with 15+ connected vehicle platforms that all have varying levels of performance and functionality.

The Automotive world is complex. Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/15-corporations-make-most-cars/

This is a piece of the puzzle, not a perfect solution!

SmartCar will be the first and easiest step of connectivity for many vehicles and users, but there are some limitations that are important to identify upfront.

For privacy-concerned individuals, opting in to an automaker-provided connected vehicle services can result in unwanted data sharing, beyond the control of DIMO (or even you as a user).

While we’re providing you with the SmartCar connectivity option as a way to easily collect and store your own copy of the data from your vehicle, we can’t guarantee that the information will only be stored by DIMO (like we can with our hardware miners).

Because it comes from the onboard connection, data passes through the vehicle OEM (Ford, Tesla, etc), their connected vehicle platform provider (Autonomic, OnStar, etc), and through SmartCar servers on its way to your DIMO data vault.

In the spirit of transparency, we’re linking to SmartCar’s privacy policy here.

Another thing to note about SmartCar connectivity: You can only refresh the data every hour, due to limitations on the SmartCar API. This is true for hitting the “refresh” button in your DIMO Dashboard or re-authenticating with SmartCar.

This is yet another reason the AutoPi upgrade is going to be so phenomenal for users: constant, real-time data without refresh!

To ensure maximum token earnings on launch (and privacy, if you wish to opt-out of any 3rd party services like SmartCar and your OEM’s connected vehicle services), we still recommend that non-Teslas less than 10 years old upgrade to the DIMO x AutoPi device. There is a small amount of preorder supply remaining and we’re working hard to secure more supply for the US, Canada, and Europe in 2022!

Where is this feature headed?

We’re excited to use SmartCar as a connectivity option for users, and to produce aggregated insights into the performance of existing connected vehicle platforms in the market.

As connected vehicle features become increasingly important to consumer experience, safety, and privacy, we can be the first to measure performance of these features across OEMs and provide an additional layer of transparency into this critical digital infrastructure.

We’re going to report out early and often on what stories the data can tell us. We’ll also be building new features and helping release new apps and services that can be built with this data.

Getting Connected

If your car is compatible with SmartCar, in the DIMO app you will see the ability to “Connect this vehicle.”

It’s a very simple process. You will need an active account with your vehicle maker’s connected car service, like Tesla, FordPass, or Toyota Remote Connect.

It’s pretty slick

If you see the green icon and “Connected,” congratulations, you’re all set!

You may see a banner to upgrade to the DIMO x AutoPi miner. While not required, the hardware will confer two major benefits to users: much more data about your own car to consume and store, and higher rewards if you choose to share that data.

Whether you choose to upgrade or not, you’re now set to start gathering your own vehicle data and to Drive-to-Earn in the next few months.

Stick around and help us upgrade the Digital Infrastructure for Moving Objects

We’re just getting started. Over the next few months you’ll see a slew of new features and updates from DIMO. We always encourage people to learn more by visiting our blog or reading more in our deep dive documentation. Last but not least, if you’re not already in the DIMO Discord, hop in and join us.

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Written by: Alex

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