Common Questions About DriveSync

Everything you need to know before you get started.


DriveSync Connected Car Service

What is the DriveSync connected car service?

DriveSync® is the second engine for your car that is built for your commute. It helps to make you smarter while keeping you safer during your commute. The DriveSync engine delivers to you a suite of intelligent connected car services that transform driving into a truly intelligence experience – making you more productive and saving you time and money, with safety remaining at the core!

How much does the DriveSync® service cost?

Volunteer participants in the California Road Charge Pilot Program are being given a free subscription to the DriveSync service for the duration of the pilot.

I’m not a California Road Charge Pilot Program (RCPP) participant, can I use the DriveSync service?

The DriveSync service is currently limited to RCPP participants. However, it will be available to the general public in the near future.


DriveSync Port

What is the OBD-II port?

The OBD-II port is the On-Board Diagnostics port provided in vehicles manufactured since 1996. This port is also known in the automotive service industry as a Data Link Connector (DLC). Service technicians typically connect diagnostic equipment to the OBD-II port in order to obtain Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) useful for troubleshooting assorted vehicle issues. The device for programs powered by DriveSync is powered by this same port and utilizes some of the same engine DTC data for processing into reports on engine performance.

What does the OBD-II port look like?

The OBD-II port is an outlet approximately 1 ¼” (3 cm) wide, with 16 pin slots to accommodate the pins on the device configured as shown:
drivesync-obd2-pins

Where is the OBD-II port located in my vehicle?

The port is most commonly found in the knee area near the steering column. If you cannot locate the port, visit the Port Finder tool on your program web site. Typically, the OBD-II port is located under the dashboard.

obd2-locationTo locate your OBD-II port, using the Port Finder on the web portal:

1. Open the web portal.
2. Click either Handy Port Finder on the Sign In page or the Port Finder link in the navigation bar in the web portal.
3. Do one of the following:

To find the location of the OBD-II port for a specific vehicle:

a. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
b. Complete the Year, Make and Model fields with the values for your vehicle.
c. Click Find My Port.

For a general overview of possible locations, and for installation instructions, watch the video.
To start the video, place your mouse over the blue box then click playicon.


Installation and Setup

I received my OBD-II device in the mail. How do I set it up?

To view a quick video explaining the installation, click here.

1. With your car parked in an open area with cellular network coverage, and your engine off, examine the underside of the dashboard for the OBD-II port. The location of the OBD-II port can vary with each vehicle, but it is most commonly found in the knee area near the steering column.
OBD-II Device Installation2. Carefully align the OBD-II device to your vehicle’s OBD-II port. Slide firmly into place and fully secure it without twisting or forcing.
3. After all three device lights turn on and then off, wait one minute before turning on the ignition.

Note: If the green LED is still off while the vehicle ignition is on, the device should be recalled via the RMA process.

Will the OBD-II device obstruct my leg movement in the vehicle?

The device plugs into your OBD-II port with no additional wiring or connections. It is designed to fit snugly along the underside of your dashboard without obstruction.

If you experience any leg movement obstruction due to the location of the OBD-II device, please disconnect it and contact us as described on the Contact Us page in the web portal.

The DriveSync Engine

What information does the device collect?

obd2-device-flow
The device collects and stores the following information while the vehicle is being driven:

• VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
• Location*
• driving time
• driving speed
• fuel consumption
• key engine performance statistics

Using this data, the server in the DriveSync platform calculates additional parameters such as:

• idling time
• travel distance
• acceleration rates
• carbon dioxide emissions

Meanwhile, key engine performance data is also sent to the device.

*Vehicles selecting the “No Location” option as part of the California Road Charge Pilot Program (RCPP) will receive a device that does NOT include a GPS and will NOT record location.

Can the OBD-II device drain my battery?

After vehicle ignition is turned off, connected electronic devices typically remain active and cause the voltage of the vehicle battery to gradually drop over time. The rate of this voltage decline depends on the condition of the battery; the weaker the battery, the faster the decline. A range of safeguards in the device help prevent unnecessary draw on your vehicle battery.

Depending on the power level, as appropriate, the device will send a message to the server in the DriveSync platform, send a message to non-volatile memory for sending later, stop communications and/or enter a hibernation mode.

When does the DriveSync engine transfer data to the servers in the DriveSync platform?

When using an OBD-II device, after every trip, the device uses mobile networking to upload your trip data to the server in the DriveSync platform. Your trip data is then compiled into a variety of personalized reports, maps, charts and graphs for your to view on the web portal. If there is no mobile connection available, transfer of collected data is delayed until the mobile connection is available.

Can my device become full?

In extremely rare cases, such as continuous driving in areas without wireless coverage or extraordinarily long trips without breaks, it is conceivable that vehicle and driving data may not have an opportunity to transfer to the server in the DriveSync platform and will continue to collect in the device memory.

Can I disconnect and reconnect my DriveSync engine?

When necessary, you can disconnect and reconnect your device.

Although the device shuts down fully when not in use, as a precaution, it is always a good idea to remove your device from the OBD-II port prior to leaving your vehicle parked for several weeks; for example, if you store your vehicle during the winter or are leaving your car while you go on an extended vacation. You may also need to disconnect your device if an automotive service technician needs to connect OBD-II diagnostic equipment to your vehicle.

To reconnect your device after disconnecting:

1. With your vehicle turned off, plug the device into your vehicle’s OBD-II port.
2. Wait a minute or two before turning on the vehicle ignition to ensure a reboot of the device.

Note: Disconnects and reconnects are reported as events on the DriveSync system.

What do the LED lights on my DriveSync Engine mean?

The LED lights are located on the side of your OBD-II device and indicate the current operating status of your device. Dependent on the model of device being used, different lights may be present at different times during vehicle operation.

What if the LED lights on my DriveSync engine are always off?

Ensure that the device is fully plugged into the OBD-II port. If the green LED is still off while the vehicle ignition is on, please contact us at 1-866-534-7243.

How is power to the DrivesSync engine managed?

The device draws power from the OBD-II connection as follows:

• During trips: When the vehicle ignition is on, the device draws power for the trip functions such as collection of driving and vehicle data. The internal cellular modem stays off during trips unless there is a need to upload previously delayed trip information

• Standby mode: When the vehicle ignition is turned off, the device switches to a power save standby mode. The internal cellular modem is turned off and the rest of the device draws only minimal power.

Note: When you turn off the vehicle ignition, the 3-hour power save standby mode begins. If desired, an IMS administrator can increase or decrease this period (between 10-300 minutes) as part of the overall program setup process. In programs in which the data transfers to the server in the DriveSync platform after each trip, the duration of standby must be longer than the data transfer timer setting. This ensures data transfers before the standby period elapses and full shutdown begins. The chosen duration of standby mode affects all devices within a single DriveSync program.

• During data transfer: At the prescribed moment during standby mode (as determined by the data transfer timer setting and applicable only in programs that transfer data after each trip), the device powers up and turns on its internal cellular modem to transfer current data. Standby mode resumes automatically when the transfer process is complete. A typical transfer takes 3 minutes or more.

• Shutdown/sleep: The device shuts down completely and ceases to operate when the prescribed standby period elapses.

What should I do if I lose my device?

If you lose a device, call us at 1-866-534-7243.

Drivesync Mobile App

What Smartphone platforms are supported?

The application will run on most recent-model Smartphones running Android or Apple iPhone.

Does the application work on tablets?

The application is optimized and targeted for Smartphones. It might work on tablets, but they are not supported devices.

How do I uninstall the application if it is no longer wanted?

Uninstall (delete) the application as with any other application. When the app is deleted, all the data from the Smartphone is deleted.

Will the application use up the data plan?

Data is collected and transmitted directly from the on-board device you installed in your vehicle to IMS. The application will use a small amount of data when you open it to fetch your trips and other data to display to you.

If using a data plan is a concern, only open the application when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

How are scores calculated?

The scores are based on a weighting of low, medium and high events for Acceleration, Braking, Cornering and Speed. The length of the trip is also taken into consideration. Your individual trip scores are weighted and aggregated into a total score.

How is the data processed and stored?

While the vehicle is being driven with the on-board device installed, it captures data about the trip by receiving a GPS signal from satellites and various sensors installed in your vehicle. After every trip, the device securely, seamlessly and automatically uploads (transfers) the accumulated trip data to a secure telematics hub for processing. If there is no wireless data connection available to the device, for example, parking in an underground parking lot, transfer of collected data is delayed until the wireless connection is available.