New smart blackbox for just £35 per year will alert you to car troubles

The new technology from Green Flag has been designed to take the shock out of dealing with car issues

Roadside assistance and vehicle recovery provider Green Flag have launched a new product which has been designed to help motorists deal with car issues in a smart new way.
The new system is called Green Flag Alert Me and its job is to monitor what’s happening with your vehicle. If a problem is indicated, they will send you notification via your mobile phone and alert you as to the seriousness of the problem, whether you should continue on your journey, or stop and call for assistance.
The traditional way of spotting an issue with your car is by noticing a warning light flashing on your dashboard, which can lead some drivers into a state of panic thinking that their vehicle is about to pack in and a huge repair bill is on the horizon.
Warning lights might flash to signal a major catastrophe but they can also be triggered by a small problem, such as a coolant level warning light to let you know to top up the water in your radiator.
The new system from Green Flag will help motorists to differentiate between a serious and not so serious issue. The new plug-in device will tell the driver how serious the issue is and whether it’s safe for you to keep driving if a warning light does come on.
The new smart technology will cost customers £35 per year and they can install it themselves if they want to. The unit is as small as a matchbox and fits into the diagnostic port inside the customer’s vehicle.
The system is then synced to an app to use via your smartphone, which will send you a message to let you know if there’s a problem and whether you’re safe to continue travelling.
The head of transformation at Green Flag and the man behind the new technology, Nick Reid, said that the system has two main functions.
Firstly, the new smart system monitors how healthy your car battery is. If it’s about to pack in, the driver will receive a message to let them know, giving them time to do something about the problem rather than carrying on driving and risking it eventually stopping altogether further down the road.
Also, the system’s ability to be able to pinpoint other wider problems makes this little piece of equipment truly clever and could be particularly cost effective for drivers, especially owners of a vehicle that suffers from continuous problems.
Diagnosing a vehicle to see why a warning light has come on does not come cheap. Local garages usually charge you for carrying out a diagnostic test and more often than not give you a list of things that are wrong with your car, which in turn leads to a huge bill.
Green Flag’s system diagnoses why the engine management light has flashed and explains the issue to the owner of the vehicle in an easy and simple to understand way.
Mr Reid describes it as: “Taking the engineering degree out of the automotive industry’ by associating the thousands of fault codes to just 16 different messages that are relayed to the driver to tell them the seriousness of the problem.”
He also added that the smartphone app will, with one press of a button, let you send notification of where you are if you do need breakdown assistance, to make it easier for their recovery drivers to find you.
Green Flag’s new system is the first one to market, however the AA and RAC are also thought to be working on a similar version of their own.
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