TOKYO -- Nissan Motor will start a service that collects data on a car's maintenance status to alert the owner when it is time to see a mechanic.
The Japanese automaker said Tuesday it will start the service in India and Japan in 2017, and expand it to other markets by 2020. New Nissans will come equipped with the monitoring system, and the company will sell dealers the necessary equipment to upgrade cars already on the road.
The new service is the cornerstone of the company's business strategy for connected cars. Onboard sensors gather data about on how the car is running. This information is relayed wirelessly to Nissan, helping the automaker estimate the timing of the car's next engine tune-up or battery change.
The price of the service has not yet been determined. But the company plans to keep the cost of upgrades for used cars affordable, with the aim of having the data link installed in around 30% of all Nissan vehicles already on the road, according to Vice President Kent O'Hara, who heads the after-sales business. The company hopes to capture more demand for car accessories and replacement parts through increased customer contact.
Nissan has been working to combine autos and information technology since the 1990s. The automaker established a research-and-development hub for connected cars in Tokyo this fall, and plans to hire roughly 150 technicians to work in this field by the end of 2017.