Pace Car

Today in the test at GPS Tracker Blog The OBD dongle PACE – “This should turn your car into a smart car,” The PACE adapter is simply plugged into the OBD interface in your car.

This is located in the driver’s footwell in almost all cars. These are the functions that you then add to your car:

  • Mobile payment,
  • Performance Monitor,
  • Error code analysis,
  • Electronic logbook,
  • Fuel saving trainer,
  • Petrol station finder,
  • Find-My-Car function,
  • Fuel cost tracking,
  • Traffic Monitor
  • and an automatic emergency call

We find a lot in it for only 119€!

For this test, we are particularly interested in the logbook solution. We will therefore only take a very brief look at the other functions.

We bought the product via Amazon and had it delivered. In terms of technology, the device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The advantage of this is that no SIM card or similar is required for the device to transmit its data. It simply uses the mobile network of the smartphone.

The disadvantage of this is that the phone’s battery life suffers. To do this, the cell phone must receive a GPS signal. This combination did not always work reliably in the test. What worked well was the Bluetooth transmission over a short distance. The start or stop of the car could then be transmitted by push message.

What does PACE cost?

At €119, the PACE is very affordable compared to other logbook solutions. “And there are no follow-up costs.” That sounds good at first, but you need a smartphone to be able to use the PACE at all. The PACE and smartphone are then paired with each other via Bluetooth. Of course, an active mobile phone tariff must be booked on the smartphone. “There are follow-up costs here,” so the solution does not work independently without further costs. However, this should only be noted for the sake of completeness, as PACE advertises “no follow-up costs or hidden fees” on its own website.

Once we received the parcel, it turned out to be a small, beautiful and handy package. This was shrink-wrapped in plastic. So we can be sure that it is a new device. But unfortunately we have enough plastic waste in this world and other manufacturers have also found other, more environmentally friendly solutions to ensure that the device remains in new condition.

What is delivered?

No operating instructions or other accessories are included with the device. Only the device itself can be found in the packaging. Once you have downloaded the app, you have to create an account. This worked without any problems and is very simple. If you take a look at the website, many functions are explained very well and in detail. Then comes the installation and setup. Installation is very simple as the device only needs to be connected to the OBD interface in the vehicle. The right app can be found directly in the App Store.

The somewhat more difficult part: PACE must be connected to a cell phone via Bluetooth. To do this, the PACE is connected to the OBD interface in the vehicle and paired with the cell phone. To do this, the engine must be started and Bluetooth must be activated on the cell phone. Coupling can then begin. We had an iPhone 7 in the test and unfortunately the connection could not be established straight away. After switching the motor on and off again and then restarting the app, the corresponding instructions for connecting appeared in the app.

Beautiful dashboard

Now we could use the PACE: PACE’s smart dashboard displays various vehicle information, which we also get from our car’s speedometer. I was shown the street I was on with my car. A Km/h or RPM display looks better than in some cars… but we don’t see any advantage in using our cell phone as a speedometer… I found the other details such as my driving behavior interesting, but I couldn’t see how I could influence this or how this figure came about.

Logbook is not recommended

Then we did a few test drives for the logbook. This must be activated manually beforehand. The first few trips went quite well and reliably. Sometimes the house numbers had to be added during the journeys. However, the start and end of other routes were not recorded exactly. This is because the address was simply not recognized. Much more annoying was the fact that no addresses could be recorded for some routes. Unfortunately, this behavior is consistent with reviews that can be read on Amazon. It is possible to enter these manually afterwards, but this is somewhat complicated and occurred 4 times during 7 test drives. Since the GPS signal from the cell phone is apparently required, it is necessary to check before the journey whether the cell phone is not in the pocket or similar – a bit time-consuming in our opinion. PACE also offers a login for the web. This is particularly helpful for organizing your routes. You could combine trips there, which was very quick.

Addresses could also be saved. The input for this is somewhat laborious as no German addresses could be suggested to us. A report or overview could be exported as a beautiful and attractive PDF. This logbook is then submitted to the tax office with the tax return. We also received a handy reminder via push message if journeys were not declared as business or private. This is good and helps to keep the logbook clean.

Find my Car function only helps to a limited extent

We cannot evaluate the error codes as our test car did not appear to issue any error codes. We also had no error message on the speedometer display. “The Find my Car function is nice”, but unfortunately only works if you previously had your smartphone with you and it had a GPS signal. Otherwise you don’t know where your car is. Unfortunately, this function cannot tell you whether your car is really still where you parked it because it was towed away or stolen. The PACE simply lacks the transmission capability.

Conclusion:

Let’s come to the conclusion: From our point of view, the PACE delivers a lot, but the question is whether it’s worth €119. A dashboard that displays the car’s most important data in a different form than the speedometer is nice, but we wonder if you really need it. It is interesting to know which address you are currently at and how fast you are allowed to drive, but this information is often already shown to me with the existing displays in a car. What PACE does very well is the design and presentation of the individual functions. It has style and looks appealing. But what we really didn’t like was PACE’s logbook function. Addresses were often not recognized automatically, so that no routes could be saved between the addresses. So it really depends on your preferences and what you expect from PACE. If it is to be a logbook, we would recommend other solutions.

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