The Samsung Dongle LTE provides a way for owners of older cars to add connectivity to their vehicles. The Samsung Connect Auto plugs into the car’s OBD II diagnostic port and acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot for connecting to the Internet with other devices, according to Yahoo News.
The Connect Auto dongle runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS and will be available in the second quarter this year. The company says AT&T will be the first carrier to offer it in the US and it will have LTE speeds when connected to the network.
The Tizen-based device will function as a Wi-Fi hotspot for anyone in your vehicle. Assuming you’re not one of those people who gets carsick looking at your smartphone or tablet while a passenger in someone’s car, you’ll be able to connect to the your device’s Wi-Fi connection.
As your device connects to the Samsung Dongle LTE cellular network, AT&T for the United States, you will be charged a monthly flat-rate for the service. The pricing for the dongle hasn’t been announced, but some experts say it’s probably around around $10 a month.
The Samsung Connect Auto is not a service like Android Auto or CarPlay, which integrate with a dashboard display to basically recreate all of your smartphone’s useful features on a larger screen. Instead, it plugs directly into your car’s OBD-II port, but it does a bit more than just tell you what your car’s check engine light means.
“Samsung also encourages safe driving behavior by using geo-fencing and driver rating algorithms. In the event of an accident, emergency alerts notify the driver’s contacts and accident concierge services are provided. A ‘Find My Car’ app also helps in locating your car in real-time using LTE and GPS,” reads Samsung’s description.
Like other dongles, it will also be able to give you a bit more information about any errors or issues your car is trying to tell you-like the aforementioned “check engine” light example. If you have no idea why that’s on, the Samsung LTE plug can help decipher the specific error codes your car is coming up with. If you’re lucky, you just forgot to put on your gas cap, or something similarly innocuous. If not, a trip to the mechanic might be in your future.
Samsung is reportedly looking to partner with a variety of auto manufacturers to get its dongle preinstalled in various cars, which could help push sales a little bit for potential buyers who are attracted to the concept of a “connected car.” It’s also working to partner with some insurance carriers.
The Samsung Dongle LTE is expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2016 with full LTE capabilities in the U.S., and likely debut internationally by the year’s third quarter. If you don’t mind sharing data about how you drive with your carrier, you might be eligible for some insurance discounts based on your driving habits.