Review: Escort Live

Can a smartphone app combined with a radar detector be used to help avoid speeding tickets?

Escort Live provides drivers with real-time alerts about speedtraps or other threats. These alerts are displayed on a smartphone that also controls the detector.

The idea of countering speedtrap technology by adding more technology is a poetic justice. This has been a tradition since the invention of traffic radar in the 1950s.

Drivers flashed the lights of their headlights in warning to others about radar traps. It was simple, but effective. The arrival of the CB radio in the mid-seventies created a community of smoking spotters. However, the craze quickly faded away due to mindless chatter and ineffective reports. There was something better.

This is possible thanks to the rapid growth of smartphones and internet access. Escort Live is compatible with all Escort radar detectors.

Older Escort models, such as the Passport 9500ix and Max, X70, and redline, require an Escort live power cord. The Bluetooth link allows the detector to use the smartphone’s GPS.

The Escort Max 360c and Passport Maxi 360c as well as the Passport IXc, X80 all have Bluetooth built-in and can be paired with smartphones without the need for a special power cord. Redline 360c, Max 360c, and iXc have Wi-Fi. Once the detector has been paired with a vehicle’s Wi Fi, it can automatically connect to the app using either a smartphone, Bluetooth, or both.

EscortLive SmartCord can be used with older Escorts.

  • Compatible Escorts
  • Two radar antennas, one front and one rear
  • Arrows of directional threat
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in
  • Speed camera and red light alerts
  • BSM and IVT radar filters
  • Magnetic windshield mount
  • Police cannot detect it
  • Rear radar antenna
  • Arrows of directional threat
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in
  • Speed camera and red light alerts
  • IVT radar filters and BSM
  • Magnetic windshield mount

 

For older Escorts, there are two types of EscortLive power cords available: a coiled SmartCord which plugs into a powerpoint and a Direct Wire that connects to the car’s electric system. Mounts in the cockpit is the thumb-sized control module.

The Escort Live app needs to be first downloaded on your smartphone in order for everything to work. It’s also available through Apple iTunes for iPhones. After the app is installed and activated, pairing the phone with EscortLive is the last step.

This sequence was performed with an iPhone 6 (Escort live is backward-compatible with the latest iPhone models), and also with an Samsung Android phone. The download was easy in both cases. However, creating an account with a user name and password took a little longer. After logging in, Escort Live quickly connected to the phone and confirmed that it was indeed paired when a flashing blue LED light turned solid.

The Settings screen shows information about the duration and alert settings of the Escort Live subscription. A tutorial is available to help you understand the basics of the system.

There are two screens available, Dashboard and Map. Both are visually appealing and well-organized. Staff preferred the Map screen as they found the real-time distance to danger graphics more useful.

The user can share X and K-band notifications by pressing the Report button. Rarely, X-band alerts can be generated almost exclusively by radar-controlled automatic doors openers.

False alarms from K-band are also possible, mostly from Blind spot Monitoring radar systems on nearby vehicles. They use radar to detect vehicles in front of them and warn them when they are about to change lanes. They work on K-band frequencies of police officers and can be distinguished by no detector.

Many neophytes are unable to identify the source of an X or K-band alert. This can lead to false Escort Live warnings. The system monitors every alert and grades its validity. After one hour, if no further alerts are received to the same signal, the threat level will be downgraded and removed after an additional hour.

Ka-band alerts almost always mean police radar, and these alerts are broadcast automatically.

Using Escort Live to drive the iPhone was a good idea, but it meant that the phone had to be powered by a car. We found that EscortLive was the only app running on our iPhone. The display brightness was set to its lowest setting and we were able to drain the battery in 2.5 hours. This is faster if there were frequent alerts, or other apps running. High-end Escorts include a SmartCord USB power cable with a USB charging socket.

Escort Live has a handy feature that automatically tracks all alerts on your phone. This allows you to track your steps and view details such as the time/date stamp, location and radar frequency.

Escort Live performed as promised. We received radar and laser alerts, and reports about speedtraps in process. The hostility generated by Escort Live among law enforcement officers is a testament to its effectiveness. Escort Live, given the cost of a speeding ticket is an affordable countermeasure.

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