I’m really interested in data on every day things. You may have figured that out from reading my ecobee smart thermostat review. This week we’re going to venture into cars. Automatic is what I’d call a Fitbit for your car. Since Father’s day is around the corner, I’d venture there are a few car loving Dad’s out there that would think this was cool. You can check compatability with your car here.
Automatic tells you all of the stuff that your car is doing such as:
- Where you are driving
- What your mileage is
- Are you braking or accelerating hard
- Check engine light? Why?
- Can’t find your car? Locate it.
- 24/7 emergency crash alerting
- Trip tracking and tagging (for business / mileage reimbursement)
- 3rd party apps with IFTTT integration
2 weeks ago I got an email from Automatic telling me that my car was finally compatible. Since I have a Diesel car, it took their 2nd generation device to add support.
The Automatic adapter works with most cars. It does this via an adapter and standard called On Board Diagnostics (ODB). Your car has a small interface that has probably only ever been used by your dealer or during an emmisions test.
The types of things you can do are really intersting. For example, this past week I went on a business trip and drove my car to the Airport. On my return I tagged both trips as “Business” so that I can file the mileage in my expense report.
Here is an example of a drive I took from downtown Seattle to Safeco field. You can see what the cost of this trip was based on the type of fuel my car uses, current prices and my miles driven.
Here you can see how much fuel is in my tank and the range I’ll get. I have a Diesel car hence the insane range I get per tank.
You can also run 3rd party apps if you are a car enthusiast like DashCommand snd see what your engine is doing
I created an IFTTT recipe that sets my ecobee to Home when I turn off my ignition in my garage. Not essential but neat.
Automatic also has an Apple Watch app for tagging your recent trip
As a safety device, one awesome feature is that if I ever get in an accident, Automatic will notify emergency service and contact up to 3 different people notifying them of the incident. Many car companies charge a ridiculous amount of money per year and with Automatic you get this for free with purchase of the device.
Automatic is a neat gadget. Not essential, but I’ve found it to be pretty handy. You can pick one up for $99.
★★★★☆ Great. Worth purchasing.