You didn't think Samsung would stay out of the connected car race, did you? Sure enough, the Korean electronics giant has unveiled its own take on smarter vehicle tech in the form of Connect Auto. The Tizen-powered (and Knox-secured) dongle plugs into your car's OBD-II port and provides LTE data to everyone in the car through a WiFi hotspot. And like other connectors, it should help with your driving. The adapter promotes safer driving habits (including through insurance partnerships), keeps tabs on maintenance, helps you find your parked car and even alerts your contacts if you're ever involved in an accident.

Connect Auto will be available internationally, but it may take a while to reach your corner of the globe. It'll first be available in the US, where an AT&T-based model will launch in the second quarter of the year. It's too soon to say how well Samsung will fare. There's no shortage of connected car add-ons, and simply having a familiar name won't guarantee success. However, the company has lofty ambitions. It's trying to create a whole internet-savvy car ecosystem, and it has the help of big partners like AT&T, China Unicom, Here and Orange -- Samsung could 'win' simply by becoming the de facto choice for car technology upgrades.

This piece by Jon Fingas originally appeared on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.


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