Why did we make our own hardware?

Hardware is hard! And I really mean it. It takes great patience and greater discipline to be able to make an electronic hardware that is worthy of any praise. So you might ask whether we really needed to build something from scratch? Whether it was worth the effort?

With ZENE, we started out with a simple theory that we will provide best of experiences to our customers. And notwithstanding, we were awed by the fact that all it takes is a nice front-end to make it right for customers, we couldn’t be more wrong!

Many ask us ‘what if someone just imports thousand of such devices from China and throws us out of market?’ We, now, just smile and let the moment pass.

In fact, we wanted to import GSM, GPS based OBD dongles from China and build a solid solution on top of that hardware. We did test a number of devices from some big Chinese exporters and local manufacturers, but nothing made a cut to what we were looking for. Not only those devices were not reliable functionally, we didn’t have a flexibility to customize and add local flavors that customers would love in a true connected cars solution.

So we went back to the drawing board and scratched what we had started with. Six months forward, we were smiling at an electronic board that will make what we know today as ZENE!

So why did we do it? Why did we spend more than 10,000 grueling hours on this product?

Simple answer: because we love you! No, really!

We wanted to offer a world-class product that is reliable and is scalable to multiple offerings that we plan to build on to ZENE’s connected cars platform.

So, again, why did we build our own hardware? Here are a few reasons — I am sure you would love us for what we did.

Security, the primary concern

Your car’s data is sensitive and is highly personal. None of the available solutions we tested provided reliable and secure mode of transmitting the data from the car.

ZENE uses bank-level encryption to transmit data to our cloud servers, which again are secured against external threats and breaches. We have taken all the necessary measures and multiple levels of checks to ensure that your data is safe.

Remote or Local, you decide

With our connected cars solution, we aim to save you significant monies in fuel and car maintenance cost. But above that we want you to fall in love with your car ‘all over again’.

We give you GSM connectivity (Remote) and Bluetooth (Local) both!

So whether you want to monitor your car from 1,000 KMs away or want to sit in the cockpit and use your favorite diagnostic app (such as Torque) to check engine performance, you will find ZENE to be an optimal companion.

Sensors that matter

Whether you want to improve on your car’s fuel economy or concerned about how your driver is handling the car or worry about someone sneaking into your car, we got you covered.

ZENE’s in-built sensors analyze and provide real-time feedback and alerts based on your driving behavior (rough handling, prolonged idling, gear or clutch level or accidental conditions). ZENE alerts you if there is an unauthorized opening of your car, or if your car moves out of a preset geo-zone (location).

There are a number of sensors working in tandem backed by complex algorithms to make decisions in real-time so that you get optimal driving experience. And, peace of mind!

Additional Inputs, to make it better

While we wanted build one integrated hardware, out of our experience in the Indian market, we wanted to provide a solution for CNG fitted cars as well. CNG leakage is a big safety risk and something that is not easily noticeable. Moreover, we rely on primitive indicators to know the quantity of gas in the tank.

ZENE provides a better and reliable solution. We have provided an external digital input from CNG to ZENE to inform or alert users in case of CNG leakage, KMs to empty on CNG tank and amount of CNG in the tank. All this can be monitored remotely, in real-time!

No one in the world provides that!

True Connected Cars experience

We wanted to provide seamless experience to our customers and that wasn’t be easily attainable if we didn’t control the hardware, which is the most critical piece of our solution. We couldn’t rely on anyone else to supply us the Heart and Mind of our solution.

Solutions evolve and new solutions emerge. So we needed a product that is built on a scalable architecture and is firmware upgradeable.

Today, we can proudly say that we have one of the best OTA (over the air) solutions configured for ZENE. We can push firmware upgrades by a click of a button. And you get best of experience, without even moving an inch!

Smart Car. Smarter You.

Originally published at www.getzene.com on May 11, 2015.

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