Starting today, Rogers is offering a new car-centric service tailored to its Share Everything customers called Rogers Smart Drive.
The service is centered on an LTE-enabled peripheral built by ZTE that Share Everything customers plug directly into their car’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD-II). This port is available in almost every car manufactured since 1996. If you’re unsure if that means your car, Rogers provides this tool to check.
The device works in tandem with an accompanying iOS and Android app to deliver real-time safety notifications, in-car Wi-Fi and engine diagnostics.
The device costs $99 CAD on a two-year term or $200 outright. Rogers also requires customers activate a $15 per month add-on to their Share Everything Plan as the device requires a micro SIM and data connection to function. The add-on comes with 1GB of shareable data that counts toward the customer’s total data bucket. Even if you buy it outright, the Smart Drive peripheral remains locked to the carrier’s network and will only work with a Rogers SIM.
However, the device itself can work with multiple cars. There’s also the option of buying one Smart Drive peripheral for each car the user owns.
The Wi-Fi aspect of Rogers Smart Drive counts against the customer’s cap. Up to five Wi-Fi capable devices can connect to the Rogers Smart Drive peripheral.
Mojio, the Vancouver-based company behind the app, claims Rogers Smart Drive is the first ever connected car solution to be delivered through a mobile carrier, though it should be noted the company partnered with Telus in 2014 to launch a similar service.
“Consumers are looking for more ways to stay connected wherever they are. Of the 24 million cars on Canada’s roads today, over three-quarters don’t have Wi-Fi or any connectivity features,” said Leroy Williams, vice-president of Rogers Communications. “We’re excited to be the first carrier to introduce this kind of device to Canadians. Now, families can have peace of mind about their car maintenance and safety and can connect to the things and people they love worry-free.”
We first got word that Rogers planned to launch Smart Drive earlier this month, when the carrier made a trademark filing related to the Smart Drive name.
Update 19/07/17: We’ve added a statement from Rogers VP Leroy Williams to the article.
Igor Bonifacic has worked as a writer and blogger since 2010. His passions include photography, gaming and yoga.