Kjell Kolstad, our VP Alliances & Business Development and me unboxing one of our first Vehicle Mind Hub shipments from our manufacturer.
“Are you sure this is the right time to launch?”
Most recently, whenever I've explained what I do to a few friends and new acquaintances — and before I even get a chance to explain what Vehicle Mind does — I’m on the receiving end of worried gazes while getting asked the following question “Are you sure this is the right time to launch?”
The conversation then inevitably veers off in either of these two directions: One is the relevance of Vehicle Mind during the pandemic (spoiler alert: people have enough to be stressed about and their car doesn’t need to be one of them) and the other is the place for new consumer technology and innovation in the world’s struggle to fight and control the virus.
How Vehicle Mind was born
I co-founded Vehicle Mind because I had suffered one exploitation too many at the hands of garages. I don’t mean to villainize mechanics, as they’re limited by an outdated ecosystem and a lack of digital tools available in the garage industry. However, it’s safe to say that all drivers have had at least one bad experience where they’ve felt completely helpless; it’s hard to get a second opinion when your car is up on a lift somewhere!
Knowledge is power and Vehicle Mind’s founding team and I believed that there had to be a better, more convenient way to maintain our cars. At the risk of oversimplifying its genesis, we rapidly conceptualized what Vehicle Mind could do, what problems it would fix, and, over a two-year span, fully dedicated ourselves to developing these ideas into a consumer product we’d be proud of.
And then, only months away from launching, the pandemic hit.
As a small team moving fast and lean, we had to adapt immediately and it wasn’t always easy. I, like many others, long for the energy of working with a talented team in one room. Our priority was keeping our culture of collaboration alive with any means at our disposal.
As the pandemic evolved, more and more people turned to working remotely, meaning a percentage of drivers used their cars less regularly. To say that much pause and reflection was involved is an understatement; democratizing car maintenance and disrupting car care were nothing short of lofty goals after all.
The road ahead is unprecedented, but we decided we’d be ready to face the unknown.
But why now?
Even as we’re driving a lot less as a result of the pandemic, one only needs to look at the mounting evidence to understand that using your car less doesn’t save you from what we call “car ownership stress.” It can make it worse.
From safety and location alerts to maintenance insights and engine diagnostics, Vehicle Mind’s arsenal of helpful features were designed to bridge the data gap between drivers and their vehicle, offering them peace of mind and helping them save time and money — and this even before we had any idea of the concerning times ahead.
This brings us to why the right type of innovation is more crucial than ever.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that businesses think about outmaneuvering today’s uncertainty.”
That’s a quote from this year’s Accenture technology trend report. And we couldn’t have worded this better ourselves. This applies to two different concepts:
- Businesses need to pivot and adapt rapidly to outmaneuver today’s uncertainty
- Businesses need to be aligned with consumer’s evolving needs and values
Now more than ever vehicle owners want and need to stay ahead of unexpected and expensive occurrences.
People are driving a lot less but whether a vehicle is driven regularly or sitting in the driveway, it still needs regular maintenance to avoid breakdowns to prevent damage and accidents. People neglect maintenance due to a lack of time, money, the fear of exploitation, and now with the pandemic, understandably so.
Vehicle Mind is here to help drivers feel like we’ve got their backs at every turn in the (chaotic) road with an arsenal of features that will simplify their automotive lives during the pandemic and well beyond.
Covid-19 or not, bringing in an era of zero-stress car ownership was the mission that set this engine in motion — no matter how challenging that may prove to be.
At Vehicle Mind, forward and onwards always, we say.
To find out more about Vehicle Mind, visit our Mission page here.