Zubie, AutoNation form partnership to put tech in cars

Local startup Zubie has struck a deal with retailer AutoNation that enables the car dealer’s customers to have Zubie’s vehicle-monitoring device installed for free.

The technology analyzes the engine, battery and other parts of an automobile. If the user chooses, that data can be sent to a servicer such as AutoNation, which in turn can then notify the operator when a vehicle needs to be brought in for repairs or routine maintenance.

“The promise to the end user is if I, AutoNation, know what’s happening in real time about your car from a diagnostic perspective we can better help you maintain that car,” Zubie CEO Tim Kelly said.

Users would have to let AutoNation have access to their data and have the choice as to whether or not to install the technology, Kelly said in an email.

“Zubie’s solution will help improve relationships between AutoNation and our customers by giving them a source of information about the service needs of their vehicles,” Allan Stejskal, corporate information officer at AutoNation, said in a statement.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based AutoNation operates 282 new and used car dealerships in 15 states. None is in South Carolina.

Mount Pleasant-based Zubie also sells an app that relays information about a car’s performance to the driver.

Reach Allison Prang at 937-5705 or on Twitter @AllisonPrang.