Spireon announced Kahu, a new connected car service that is uses a installed device to add smart features to any car. Kahu is only sold and installed by car dealers.
The Kahu service includes an installed GPS device that relays locatioin and information to a user’s smartphone app. The Kahu app shows real-time information, sends data for theft recovery and offers driver alerts. Car dealerships can use Kahu for lot management, stolen vehicle recovery and mange inventory.
With Kahu, car dealers partner with Spireon for a one-time install of the GPS tracking device to use for inventory management. Then once a car is sold, the dealers can add-on the Kahu mobile app service for the car buyer, connecting them to the already-installed GPS tracking device. Spireon notes that the GPS tracking cost is more than covered when the Kahu service add-on is sold. For consumers, once the car is connected and the app is downloaded, Kahu provides:
- Real-time tracking of elderly or teen drivers.
- Theft recovery,it locates the vehicle after it has been stolen with an average recovery time of a stolen vehicle is 26 minutes.
- Kahu provides alerts for geofencing feature, specific speed limits and issues such as low battery.
- 24/7 vehicle location through a mobile app.
- Up to 25% on insurance premiums that offer discounts for cars with theft recovery devices installed.
While most aftermarket connected car services such as Mojio, Zubie and Automatic use a device connected to an OBD-II port, which can be removed by a thief and sometimes voids car manufacturer warranties, the Kahu device is professionally installed by the car dealer. The car owner just has to install the smartphone app.
The announcement does not mention if the monthly cost for the Kahu service or the price of the Kahu device itself.
Wakefield Research reported nearly 70 percent of consumers stated that they would prefer to purchase Connected Car features for their car directly at the dealership as opposed to purchasing after the car dealership.