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Could an App Help You Fix Your Car?

In the near future, there will be an app for everything. For example, research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is expected to lead to a smartphone app that can diagnose performance problems in your car. The app will analyze the vehicle’s sounds and vibrations, using the phone’s microphone and accelerometers. When perfected, the app is expected to save the average driver about $125 USD a year, catching minor problems before they necessitate costly repairs, and improving gas mileage.

An app with street cred:

  • For example, the app can “hear” the whistling sound of a clogged air filter, or “feel” vibrations related to poor tire pressure. The MIT research team predicts that the app will be more than 90 percent accurate.
  • The app could potentially save truck drivers up to $600 USD a year, the developers estimate, since it will help them avoid breakdowns, late deliveries, and lost income.
  • A prototype app is expected to be ready for field testing in mid-2018. A commercial version from a startup called Data Driven could be unveiled a year after that.
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