A car tracker that critiques the driver

Vodafone V-Auto keeps track of journey times, where a car is parked and rates how good a driver is

Vodafone V-Auto, £85; subscription around £4 a month
Vodafone V-Auto, £85; subscription around £4 a month | Image: Hugh Threlfall

Vodafone has an intriguing range of products by different manufacturers, selling under its V by Vodafone label – from bag and pet trackers to a portable home security camera. It’s a clever idea for a cellular provider, because each of these attractive gadgets requires, naturally, a Vodafone SIM and one of those tiny subscriptions you will barely notice coming out of your bank account – until there’s 20 of them and you have a cull (highly recommended). 

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I have been trying the V-Auto, and while it could qualify as one of those slightly insidious solutions-in-search-of-a-problem, I’ve found it worthwhile. V-Auto is a car tracker that plugs into the mysterious ODB-11 or OBD2 port you probably don’t know your car has. For me, V-Auto’s best feature is that it will remind you via your phone where you parked: let me tell you some time about the incident in the car park in Leicester (an hour of searching on a winter’s night); oh, and Siena – I’ll always have Siena for the family to torture me with (had to hire a taxi to tour the streets looking for it). V-Auto’s other features include keeping track of journeys and trip times and it will tell whoever you programme it to if it detects your car has been in a crash. (This feature only works where there’s Vodafone coverage.) V-Auto will critique your driving, sending you a safety score based on how smoothly you proceed. I think I drive like an elderly aunt, so I was gratified (or was that embarrassed?) to find my driving rated 85 per cent. 

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