Zoomcar has launched Cadabra, a solution which tracks data about the car, in real-time: it plugs into the car’s OBD-II port, and provides information such as distance traveled, fuel used, clutch performance, etc, tracking information like fuel levels, clutch position, harsh braking, inconsistent acceleration, seat belt usage, and engine health (among others). It comes with bluetooth and 4G connectivity; the latter allows it to receive over the air (OTA) updates. It will also connect to emergency services in case there’s an accident. Apart from being integrated into Zoomcar, Cadabra will be deployed in ZAP, Zoomcar’s marketplace program, and the data will be used to advise drivers on optimising speeds, saving fuel, and process engine alerts.

In November last year, Zoomcar had said that it has installed a “speeding alert system, which also assessed driver’s braking, steering and fuel efficiency among other things through a Bluetooth onboard diagnostics port.” Cadabra sounds like an upgrade of this. At that time, had also announced that it was equipping its cars with with Mobileye ADAS, device to help prevent road accidents because of driver inattention; what was interesting about that launch was that it had a camera on the windscreen which would read road signs, lane markings and provide real time warnings.

Zoomcar wants to be a marketplace

According to data provided by the company, Zoomcar has is in 14 cities in India, has over 2500 cars on the road, 10,000 ZAP associates, and 500 ZAP cars on its marketplace platform. A majority of the cars on the platform are still Zoomcar’s, so we wonder about how it plans to move entirely to a marketplace model by the end of the year. It earns 25% of the revenue paid by a user to an associate. When Zoomcar began allowing car owners to lease their cars, about a year ago, it had said that it had received around 5000 inquiries for ZAP in a quarter. In that context, 10,000 ZAP associates isn’t significant growth, and 500 ZAP cars on the marketplace isn’t much. Perhaps the $24 milliom funding it raised in August last year, will be put to use. We’re also wondering if Cadabra could be an alternative business line for Zoomcar: it’s a larger market of people that might want to monitor their cars performance.