Partnering with Verizon Wireless, Delphi Automotive has released its Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi product that allows drivers to to locate, track, secure, access and monitor their vehicle using a smartphone, computer or tablet. Touted as a first-in-class product, it works with most vehicles newer than the 1996 model year.

Customers will need to purchase a Delphi adapter ($250 plus a $35 activation fee) to be plugged into their vehicle's OBD-II port, most often easily accessible within the passenger compartment. The cost of the adapter covers two years of service, with customers paying a non-contracted $5/month after that period. The science behind the device is rather sophisticated, but all consumers need to know is that the adapter sends encrypted data between the vehicle and the user operating a device running Apple iOS 5.0 and later, Android 2.2 and later, or a variety of popular web browsers.

Vehicle Diagnostics does more than just monitor and report vehicle health and maintenance issues, as it may be used to set up "geo-fences" to monitor entry and exit to a certain part of town, summarize driving trips and receive e-mail alerts. Some vehicles with Bluetooth capabilities, will also allow connectivity for key fob commands (e.g., door locks, truck activation and remote start).

Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to check compatibility as not all vehicles will offer the full suite of features. Scroll down below for all the details.

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Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi now available at Verizon Wireless

Release Date: March 28, 2013

TROY, Mich. - Together with Verizon Wireless, Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH) today released its Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi product that provides a groundbreaking car-to-cloud/cloud-to-car connectivity service.

Unveiled at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the product allows drivers to track, locate, access, secure and monitor their select vehicles over the Verizon Wireless network using their current smartphone, tablet or computer. The first-in-its-class product works in most vehicles sold in the United States from 1996 onward.

"For the first time, Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi allows drivers the chance to experience unique telematics and location-based features without purchasing a new car," said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. "Offered together with Verizon Wireless, this product not only offers convenience and connectivity but also peace of mind. For example, drivers can use a smartphone, laptop or tablet as a key fob for their car when they are locked out - regardless of where they are."

Named a finalist in the 2013 Edison Awards in the transportation category, the Delphi car connectivity service enables drivers to carry out any of the following features remotely:
Locate and access family cars without having to tag the vehicle's original location

* Monitor overall vehicle health status

* Receive e-mail alerts for select driving and vehicle performance issues

* Set up geo-fences and receive e-mail alerts for entry and exit

* Summarize all trips from engine start to stop (date, times, distance, starting and ending locations)

* Connect your smartphone to your car via Bluetooth for key fob commands

The system operates through a downloadable Delphi smartphone application, available for Android 2.2 and later and Apple iOS 5.0 and later devices, as well as a Delphi website that is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 and later-version, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox browsers. Data transmitted through the Delphi connectivity system remains secure and encrypted when sent over the Verizon Wireless network.

To learn if a vehicle is compatible with Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, please visit www.connectedcar.delphi.com.