Verizon's Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi now monitoring your car for $250

Who'd have thought we'd be happy to see an unassuming black box? Delphi and Verizon managed to whet our interest with their Vehicle Diagnostics kit and service at CES, and our curiosity is renewed now that the monitoring combo is available for drivers. The finished product costs a fairly steep $250 for the Delphi adapter, although it does deliver two years of free service and costs a contract-free $5 per month afterwards. Shelling out brings the promised remote troubleshooting and notifications, including alerts for any performance problems and warnings for any geofencing violations. If you're willing to pair an Android or iOS phone with the kit over Bluetooth, you can also use the smart device in place of your keys -- temporarily, we hope. Vehicle Diagnostics should work with most cars made from 1996 onward, but do some homework before any outlay: at least a few cars miss out on the full diagnostic suite, which might dampen dreams of a connected car utopia.

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Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi now available at Verizon Wireless

Release Date: March 28, 2013

TROY, Mich. - Together with Verizon Wireless, Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH) today released its Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi product that provides a groundbreaking car-to-cloud/cloud-to-car connectivity service.

Unveiled at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the product allows drivers to track, locate, access, secure and monitor their select vehicles over the Verizon Wireless network using their current smartphone, tablet or computer. The first-in-its-class product works in most vehicles sold in the United States from 1996 onward.

"For the first time, Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi allows drivers the chance to experience unique telematics and location-based features without purchasing a new car," said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. "Offered together with Verizon Wireless, this product not only offers convenience and connectivity but also peace of mind. For example, drivers can use a smartphone, laptop or tablet as a key fob for their car when they are locked out - regardless of where they are."

Named a finalist in the 2013 Edison Awards in the transportation category, the Delphi car connectivity service enables drivers to carry out any of the following features remotely:
Locate and access family cars without having to tag the vehicle's original location

* Monitor overall vehicle health status

* Receive e-mail alerts for select driving and vehicle performance issues

* Set up geo-fences and receive e-mail alerts for entry and exit

* Summarize all trips from engine start to stop (date, times, distance, starting and ending locations)

* Connect your smartphone to your car via Bluetooth for key fob commands

The system operates through a downloadable Delphi smartphone application, available for Android 2.2 and later and Apple iOS 5.0 and later devices, as well as a Delphi website that is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 and later-version, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox browsers. Data transmitted through the Delphi connectivity system remains secure and encrypted when sent over the Verizon Wireless network.

To learn if a vehicle is compatible with Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, please visit www.connectedcar.delphi.com.

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Verizon's Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi now monitoring your car for $250