Automatic is your smart driving assistant.
Have you ever left your gas cap off or not screwed it on all the way, then get that blasted check engine light and have no way to clear the warning? Yeah, me either cough cough.
Automatic is a small device that plugs into your car’s data-port and works with Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect to your iPhone. This connection minimizes your phone’s battery consumption. Automatic provides you with many great features that without a paid service like OnStar you wouldn’t have had.
Automatic works only in the United States with almost any gasoline engine car sold in the U.S. since 1996. Find out if your car is supported here.
One of the features Automatic provides is the option to track how your driving is effecting your gas mileage. With my Automatic plugged into a Mercury Mountaineer, I’m able to see how I do compared to other drivers using the device. I’m also able to see if I make too quick of stops and take offs which could effect my gas mileage.
What really peaked my interest in the Automatic is its ability to alert authorities in case of an accident. This is something I had with OnStar and I loved knowing if something was to happen and I was unable to make the call, that OnStar would do it for me. What I didn’t like was the cost per-month of that service. Automatic will ask you to setup three numbers they can contact for you in case of a crash. Once you add your three contacts, Automatic will send them a text message alerting them that in case of a crash an agent from Automatic will call them.
I can go back and forth on the features of the Automatic vs OnStar, but in the end it’s really your decision on what fits in your life the best. What did I do you ask? I made the decision to leave OnStar because I feel very strongly that Automatic will work best with my lifestyle.
The Automatic will cost you $99.99, but that’s it. There are no monthly or yearly fees after buying the device. You can switch it from car to car, but it might be easier just to get one for each of the vehicles in your household.
Since the Automatic works with your iPhone via Bluetooth, you can use GPS to know where you parked your car. This is handy when going to a mall or event. Another feature of the Automatic that works with the GPS is the mechanic locator. The Automatic can detect if their are any problems with your vehicle and then direct you to a nearby mechanic. The image to the left shows where several mechanics are located near our Mercury Mountaineer and what kind of ratings they receive.
The Automatic can track how many miles you have driven and how much gas was used in each trip. Currently, I’m running a (99) score placing me in the top 22% of all Automatic drivers.
A great feature about this app is how it can allow you to clear those engine lights that randomly popup when you forget to screw your gas cap on all the way. Some of the events that are shown when checking your score are Hard Breaks, Mins over 70 MPH, and Rapid Accels.
There are only two downsides to Automatic. First, I’m a bit hard of hearing so when plugging the device into my car’s data-port I was not able to hear it beep. Nor will I be able to hear it make any noise for that matter. Secondly, if you are in a car crash, the Automatic may not be able to help you if these four things occur during the crash. 1. The link or iPhone is disconnected or damaged. 2. The link and iPhone are not connected via Bluetooth. 3. No GPS signal at the time of a crash. 4. Insufficient cellular signal to upload crash details.
These are things that could keep you with a service like OnStar because it works with satellite and would work without cell signal. In my case, I feel significantly comfortable Automatic will work for me.
Something else that makes the Automatic a step better then the rest is the ability to see the mileage and map of where the vehicle has driven. If you’re a parent you might want to use this to keep track of your kids when he or she starts driving. It won’t let you know while they are gone but it will provide the information upon the return of the vehicle, as to how far outside the allotted area that they traveled. Find out more about Automatic by visiting them online. automatic