For a car enthusiast OBD II port is something they definitely have heard of or maybe even used, but few exactly know what the standard actually is and what its possibilities are. Most people might not even know that her car has an OBD II port on it.

OBD or On-Board Diagnostics is a vehicle’s diagnostic and reporting standard. There have been different versions of this standard and its first predecessor was launched already in 1968, but nowadays the OBD II (OBD 2) standard is the prevalent one.

How can I use the OBD II port?

OBD II is mostly used to get vehicle diagnostics, to see if there are any Diagnostic Trouble Codes and any other data related to vehicle’s well-being. OBD II port also gives out small amount of electricity to devices connected to it. This is how Ecofleet Plug’N’Drive device uses it – to power the ultra small GPS tracking unit.

Where is the OBD II port?

OBD port can be found on every vehicle produced in 1996 or later. It is usually located on the dashboard somewhere under the steering wheel, sometimes it’s behind a small hatch. On some cars it is in center console or under the seat. OBD II port (or socket if it sounds better for you) has 16-pin connector just like in the photo. If you can’t find it, please check your car owner manual.

What’s in it for me?

Well, if you’re a tech fan you can diagnose your car and check for trouble codes. You can also impress your friends with newly acquired knowledge about OBD II.

Or if you’re a person who values your time, then get the Ecofleet Plug’N’Drive GPS device with Mileage Log so you never have to manually fill in your driving journal again.

GPS technology in connected cars

IoT (Internet of Things) is really hot term right now in tech and startup communities. Mileage Log is in the center of it, helping connect the car to our smart software that makes your life easier by automatically filling in the driving journal. Would you like to know more about the fascinating technology we use?

What is GPS?

GPS aka Global Positioning System is a space-based navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.

So basically satellites help us get exact coordinates of the vehicle. Currently there are 31 satellites hovering somewhere above our heads and help us reach our destinations through navigation systems, but also automatically filling in Mileage Log driving journal.

How does GPS really work?

GPS satellites circle very precisely around the earth and transmit a signal with information. GPS devices use the signals from satellite and through geometric process called trilateration determine the location of the device. But how do they do that, exactly, you may ask. Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. With this info it’s pure mathematics (and computers are quite good at that). Ecofleet software calculates the distance between each tracking point and this is how we can precisely measure each trip distance, both in length and in time. Based on quite a lot of location points we can also calculate speed, distance to destination and other useful information.

It’s pretty cool to think that Ecofleet Mileage Log is automatically being filled in with the help of satellites. In space. Essentially we are using cutting-edge space tech for you to get your reimbursement easier. Read more about pros and cons of a Mileage log with hardware here.