The idea of a gadget helping you save money will appeal to most people. And one easy place to save for those of us driving regularly is petrol. So imagine a gadget that knows how well you’re driving and visually alerts you to make you a better driver.
Originally founded as a Kickstarter campaign, GoFar as a concept was made to connect to your cars on-board computer and use lights to tell you how well you were driving.
Now available to the general public outside of the “backers” on Kickstarter the $199 gadget ships to your door and will impress you from the get-go.
It’s the packaging that makes or breaks the first impressions, and the GoFar team have done well to give you something that looks like it’s worth what you paid.
The “Ray” inside which is destined to sit on your dash is a sleek design that could easily have been a little box of lights but instead is a well designed aesthetically pleasing bit of kit.
So here’s how it works.
You plug the GoFar dongle into your car’s OBD port – that’s On-board diagnostics. Every car has one, and it is where a mechanic might connect to get data from your car.
GoFar are tapping into real-time data cars push out relating to fuel consumption and more.
The light array and dongle are connected by a simple cord, and the array sits atop your dash with a little supplied tape.
Next up you install the app – iOS only right now I’m sorry, but Android is coming. Register an account, enter details of your car then fire up your car to put some power in the dongle and pair the dongle to your phone.
From this point the device starts to calibrate with your car. It needs to learn what data is coming out and what is a good and bad style of driving.
Took me 3 decent trips for the green lights to progress all the way from the left of the array to the right and from then on the device lights up Blue every time I power up the car.
This is when things get interesting.
Accelerate hard and the lights go red. Drive well and the lights stay blue, push too hard and the lights go purple or red!
Same for breaking.
Now, I’d like to tell you it had an impact on my driving, but it gave me gold stars all over the shop for my excellent driving:)
But in all honesty, the lights in front of me had an immediate (and not at all distracting) effect on my driving. Pushing up a hill I’d normally put the boot in to get going, but in fact, taking it easy was just as effective and earned me Blue lights all the way.
I really did find myself driving to the lights, not pushing hard off the line and looking at the road around me for braking and acceleration improvements.
The App will help you over a longer period of time, though I was able – in my short testing – to see its data recording capabilities. You can even export the data and if you get right into it tag trips so the app can be your driving log.
All in all, I was blown away by how easy this was to set up, and how it had an immediate effect on my driving without even having spent a large amount of driving time to get data into the App.
They say it saves money every trip – that I don’t doubt – but for me even aside from the potential dollar saving, there’s a clear change in the fuel efficiency of my driving.