Mojio is a Canadian-built automotive application that is not directly related to the classified ad business, but it might be some day. And in the meantime, it’s so cool, that we thought you’d want to know.

In a nutshell, the company makes a physical dongle that connects into the On Board Diagnostic port in a car or truck. That’s the system that monitors everything going on while the vehicle is in operation: how fast you’re driving, did you brake hard, was the trunk left open? The Mojio dongle collects all that information and sends it via GPS back to whoever wants to do the digital version of the old bumper sticker reading “how’s my driving?”

What’s important about Mojio (it’s pronounced “mo-gee-o”) is that this data can be used in so many different and interesting ways. So, in an example already in place, a trucking company discovered that its fleet was spending about 15 percent of its time with engines idling. The company now sends drivers a message to turn off the engine when Mojio detects unnecessary pistons spinning. It’s saved the company millions already. Driver performance reports for insurance premium reduction (or increase) are probably also on the way.

In a less driver-specific example, monitoring braking and speed could help traffic apps predict performance. If a specific freeway onramp is detected as particularly clogged, Mojio may be able to crunch that data faster than a speeding Waze.

Mojio has apps for consumers too – everything from finding parking, to automatically notifying colleagues when you’ll be arriving at work (no texting required), to sensing if your car is about to be towed. And of course, parents can use it to monitor where their teenagers are going and how fast they’re driving.

Mojio has made the software open source and is publishing APIs for third parties. The dongle itself costs $149 with a year of data service via AT&T (or in Canada Telus) included.

How could classified ad sites use this data? Perhaps by providing useful metrics for buyers of used cars, such as: the driver of this car really rode the brakes a lot, or the air bags on that car were inflated three times in the last two years. There are plenty of privacy issues to contend with. And car owners would have to be incentivized to buy the device. But if the Mojio dongle takes hold, we expect creativity to come up with many more ideas we haven’t begun to think up yet.

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