Denis Gladkikh

outcoldman

My personal blog about software development

  • 08 Sep 2014
  • automatic, gadget, review
  • 0 comments

You know what is pedometer, right? And you probably heard about fitbit. Automatic is a gadget, which is basically “fitbit” for your car. I bought mine Automatic 10 weeks ago. These 10 weeks actually was a good period to gather my feedback about this gadget and get answers on all questions I had when I bought it.

Good parts

  • Very easy to set up

Just plug it in OBDII port. This port is located above car pedals (at least this is where I found it in my car). Automatic says that every car sold since 1996 has this port. You can check that using their compatibility page.

After that you need to pair it with your phone. It uses phone to get location, upgrade firmware and of course to upload everything to your phone and their services. It uses Bluetooth, so you need pair it once and forget about it. Just make sure that your phone is always with you when you are driving.

This pretty common question. I could pair my phone with Automatic and Car Multimedia at the same time. Never had any problems. Can talk/play music and at the same time Automatic collects all the data.

Automatic Main Screen

  • Keeps all history about your drivings

You always can get access to the information where you been week ago, when and how you were driving. Also it gives you MPG and estimated price for the gas you spent in this trip

Automatic Travel Report

Recently Automatic also introduced web Dashboard, where you can see all your trips as well

Automatic Dashboard

  • Notify about aggressive driving. Do you know how aggressive you are on the road? Do you accelerate too fast? Automatic can notify you about it, like you don’t know. It will notify you about all hard brakes and hard accelerations you make. Also it will notify you when you are driving above some speed, which is by default 70 miles per hour.

Automatic Driving Events

Automatic says that these reports can help you to adjust how you drive and help you to save on gas.

  • Can notify you about low fuel. You always can check on your phone what was the last reading from the fuel level.

Automatic Gas Settings

  • Does not require Internet connection when you are driving. I was afraid that Automatic cannot collect data when you are driving in places without cell phone signal. It can cache all data and upload it after it will find Internet.

  • Crash alert. Hope that nobody will need it, but if it works - this is very cool feature. When Automatic reads that car has been damaged, it will send alert to Automatic team. They will try to rich you, your emergency contact and local authorities.

Bad parts

  • Good start. Slow updates. Not so many new features with each update. I guess they spend a lot of time for fixing issues with all compatible cars.

  • Speed limit 70MPH kills your statistic. For example when I was driving to/from Yellowstone park on some highways speed limit was 80MPH, so now by the average statistic I am a very bad driver.

  • Cannot export trips to GPX.

  • Cannot share trip. I saw sharing only on iOS, but this was made via screenshots.

  • No public API.

Do you need to buy one?

Yes, if you like gadgets and you can spend $80. Standard price is $99.95, but you can find some referral links which give you minus $20, and of course you can use mine referral link Order Automatic (shipping is free).

So far I see only one purpose of this device - see how much I spend on gas. And if I carpool with somebody - it just makes easy to split the price for the gas.

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