Sunday, 27 August 2017 08:02

VIDEO + REVIEW: GOFAR makes your car smart, makes you a better driver


Want to transform your car into a smart car that helps you drive better to save fuel and money, gives you all the stats that matter, is app connected and so much more?

GOFAR. It’s an Australian success story that had massive Kickstarter success, and is now in use in cars around the world, letting car owners data mine their own driving and giving them actionable intelligence to make a real difference.

It’s a clever little dongle that plugs into the OBD-II socket under your dashboard. It collects a ton of amazing data you didn’t know was there, and syncs it all with the GOFAR app on your smartphone, and you can track everything from there.

The GOFAR app is your window into your car’s efficiency, performance and health. You use it to improve fuel use, log trips as business expenses, translate engine warning lights, see your journeys on a map, know how much each journey has cost in fuel costs and more – with easy to understand charts and graphs.

My MUST-SEE video interview with GOFAR founder Danny Adams at the end of this article – please read on!

There’s also a gizmo called “Ray” that sits on your dash and has a “Knight Rider”-esque light that gently shines at you (with its brightness fully controllable in-app, of course).

When you’re driving smoothly and all, the light is blue. But should you accelerate or brake harder than is necessary, you’ll see the light flicker to a purple colour, and if you go harder still, you’ll see it change to red.

Already, this simple lighting system — which actually mimics the kind of visual display that F1 drivers use to effortlessly know how well or otherwise they’re driving — has made me accelerate more softly, slow down earlier and treat my car more gently, which makes an appreciable difference in fuel costs, wear and tear and more.

The GOFAR homepage has an excellent video from Channel 7 news that explains how it all works in a coulee of minutes, and has lots of other simple explanations showing you how easily the system works.

How did I find out about GOFAR? I heard an ad on Radio 2GB in Sydney, and immediately knew I wanted to know more.

So, I contacted the company in order to meet them, which I did, and as you’ll see from the video interview, I came away incredibly impressed at the Australians behind this amazing invention - and the story of how it came to life, and is now used globally with great popularity.

Costing just A$99 for the GOFAR adapter itself, or $129 with the Ray light, and also available at a discount for volume purchases if you want to outfit several cars in the family, GOFAR is extremely affordable.

GOFAR helps to “gamify” the driving experience for the better, and you can even compare your driving on a leaderboard not only with the rest of the world, but with your family and friends, just like you can with Fitbit.

Indeed, GOFAR is like Fitbit for your car, which is a great little way to think of it.

The installation process was extremely easy to follow – you just plug the GOFAR into your OBD-II adapter under the steering wheel (under the dash). A cable plugs Ray into the GOFAR and this cable is easily pushed into the side of the dash and windscreen so it is out of the way.

Ray has a special adhesive sticker that keeps it affixed to the dash. Then you download the app, connect GOFAR and you’re in calibration mode.

You need approximately 10 stop starts as you come to a set of lights and drive off again. During this time, GOFAR is calibrating itself, but it only takes a few minutes, and thereafter, GOFAR is now saving capturing data and sending it to your phone.

You can even use it to see how others in your family - or friends - are treating your car if you all them to drive it.

Ferris Bueller’s valet wouldn’t have gotten away with a joyride in a Ferrari if a GOFAR had been installed!!

For me, I can now track so much about my car and my driving that was just invisible, lost information. If I get something wrong with the car, GOFAR will tell me - in plain English, what is wrong, so I can tell the mechanic what needs fixing, rather than them telling me.

It’s empowering!

Last week, my fuel cost $81.88, I travelled 764 kilometres, I emitted 129 kg of CO2 and my fuel economy was 7.3 litres per 100 kms.

This week I drove much less, with an $18.14 fuel cost, 154.9km driven, 28kg of CO2 emitted and 7.8 litres per 100km.

I can program in a reminder for when my next service is due, the app can remind me when my car rego is due, I can see charts showing me my week-by-week totals, I can see I am 155 on the leaderboard, I can swipe journeys as business, I can set my own tags and so much more!

GOFAR is the car driving gadget you didn’t know you need, but once you have it, is a joyful piece of set and forget technology you’ll never want to be without.

It’s Fathers Day soon - by all means get one for Dad, but why stop there? Mum needs one, the kids who can drive need one - you reading this need one if you are a driver!

GOFAR pretty much works on any car from 2007 onwards. My car is a 2005 Mazda - and it worked there too, so if you’re not sure whether your car will work or not, contact GOFAR.

The GOFAR site even has a live chat option which I used to get in touch with the company.

This is a stellar Australian invention by fantastic Aussie inventors and I wholeheartedly recommend you get one.

Why let your Fitbit have all the fun, when you car can have it’s own equivalent, too, and you can genuinely save money by being encouraged to be a better driver?

This product is a win, and with regular app updates and at least one secret feature being worked on I was told about that will make GOFAR even better when it is rolled out, presumably sometime later this year, GOFAR is a must-have addition for you car, and thanks to app updates, even better is still to come!

Here’s my interview with GOFAR founder, Danny Adams, it’s well worth your time to watch and hear Danny’s story and the amazing story of GOFAR.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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