Keep tabs on your car with Verizon's remote monitoring and diagnostics service

Car nuts meets computer geek with a new service that lets you track your car's health, whereabouts, and even lets you cut the engine if it's ever stolen, right from a smartphone.

Delphi, a leading manufacturer of automotive electronic systems, is working with Verizon on a mobile system to monitor and control your car. The system relies on a dongle that plugs into the car?s OBD-II diagnostic connector, which is built into most cars sold in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.

According to Jeffrey J. Owens, Delphi?s chief technology officer, Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi enables consumers with Verizon-connected mobile devices to remotely monitor their car?s diagnostics systems, including translating obscure codes into more meaningful displays for consumer. The system can also monitor automotive activity, including total distance driven, final locations, engine idle time and even supply users with a map of the trip. One added capability is ?geofencing?, which allows your phone to ping you if your car should go somewhere unexpected, or starts up unexpectedly. If it?s determined your car has been stolen, you?ll be able to track and deactivate your car remotely.

Verizon hasn?t announced service pricing yet, but the system will be available within several weeks of CES, according to Owens.The monitoring system runs on Android 2.2 or later and iOS 5 or later. Delphi will also support a web portal compatible with most current web browsers. The dongle itself uses only 2G cell data, but the volume of data sent is fairly compact. Data is sent out over the mobile network every two seconds.In addition to monitoring your car, the system will give owners remote car control capability. You?ll be able to perform any action that the car?s normal remote lock keyfob can do. Depending on the car, this could include locking and unlocking doors, starting the car and even firing up the air conditioner or heating system if that capability is available. Users should also be able to lock and unlock trunks and fire off the panic alarm as needed.

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out our complete coverage of CES 2013.

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