Automatic Link Stories May 19, 2015

Automatic upgrades $100 Bluetooth car dongle, launches ‘app store for cars’

Automatic, a Bluetooth dongle that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostic port to stream data to your iPhone, has been updated to a new version capable of streaming to two apps at the same time. The company has also launched an ‘app store for cars’ in the form of a webpage with download links to 22 apps that are compatible with the device.

We reviewed the original model back in 2013, when Zac Hall described it as smart, fun and interesting. At the time, it could only stream data to Automatic’s own companion app, but the latest version supports two simultaneous Bluetooth data streams, allowing both Automatic and a second app to receive data simultaneously.

Compatible apps include nine business-oriented apps, allowing things like automated mileage expense claims; convenience apps, like Nest, to pre-heat or cool your home while driving home; safety, like a driving coach to help new drivers; and performance, to provide real-time data to assist in car tuning.

The second-gen Automatic adapter also includes “built-in GPS, Made for iPhone (MFi) certification, and an improved connector to fit better in more cars” at the same $100 price.

Automatic Link Stories September 15, 2014

All-New 2015 Ford Edge Showcases Technology, Design and CraftsmaAutomatic Labs and Ford Motors are announcing today a new partnership to bring the Automatic Link accessory to more people and add more functionality to the platform. Ford Motors and Automatic Labs will work together to develop features to both the Automatic platform and Ford Sync, the automaker’s in-car infotainment system.

By integrating with Ford’s Sync platform, for example, Automatic users will be able to connect the in-car Sync button to the popular If This Then That automatic service. This turns the push-to-talk button into a one push button for a variety of programmable automation tasks in the car. The two companies say more enhancements will roll out soon through the partnership. expand full story

Automatic Link Stories September 3, 2014

The smart driving assistant Automatic is getting even more capable this morning with the roll out of a new dashboard interface made specifically for the web. You will probably recognize the interface (seen above) if you have used the Automatic app, which connects to a Bluetooth accessory in your car to give you data on driving efficiency and more.

The dashboard presents trip history mapped out alongside information including distance, miles-per-gallon, fuel cost, and duration just like the iPhone app. In addition to being able to access data captured by Automatic on the web for the first time, the new dashboard also features filtering and exporting capabilities. expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Automatic Link Stories June 17, 2014

Automatic, the smart driving assistant that connects your car to your iPhone, is updating its accompanying iOS app today with a new design and new features. The new design, Automatic says, is meant to be “lighter, faster and more modern”. The gray header, for example, has been replaced with a white field displaying the current and past driving stats collected by the app.

In addition to the refreshed look and feel, Automatic 2.0 for iPhone brings new features to Automatic Link users. With the update, Automatic will offer fuel level information and warnings on supported cars. While this feature only works on supported cars, in many cases it goes beyond dashboard fuel gauges as Automatic can present an estimate of miles possible to be driven before running out of fuel based on previous driving behaviors. expand full story

Automatic Link Stories November 27, 2013

For the past few months, I’ve been testing the Automatic Link which aims to make you a safer, more efficient driver. But is it enough to really change your driving habits?

With the holiday season quickly approaching and the hardware now widely available and in stock on Amazon (and Prime eligible at that), what better time to discuss my hands-on experience with the smart driving assistant…

expand full story

Automatic Link Stories March 12, 2013

Automatic Link brings your car’s on-board diagnostics to the iPhone, available for pre-order now

Automatic Link is a new hardware dongle for your car that is launching today and will allow you to monitor on-board diagnostics directly on your iPhone. On top of monitoring on-board diagnostics, such as braking, speeding, and rapid acceleration by connecting the Automatic Link to your car’s data port, the app will also include a feature that automatically reports crashes, the ability to locate your vehicle, check engine health, and provide “subtle audio cues when you do things that waste gas.”

The Automatic Link talks to your car’s onboard computer and uses your smartphone’s GPS and data plan to upgrade your car’s capabilities. It works with just about any car sold in the United States since 1996…The Automatic Link includes a built-in accelerometer that can detect many types of crashes. Automatic uses your phone’s data connection to immediately report the crash to 911* with your name, location, and vehicle description.

The Automatic Link is now available for pre-order from the company’s website for $70, with shipments and the companion app expected to land sometime in May. You can also check the make and model of your vehicle on the pre-order page to find out if your car is compatible.

  • Your Drive Score: Automatic gives you personalized feedback on your driving with your weekly drive score on a scale from 0-100. The drive score is based on metrics shown to increase fuel efficiency and safety, like braking and accelerating smoothly. A high score could save you hundreds on gas every year.
  • Your Trips in a Timeline: The Automatic app displays detailed information about where you go and how much gas it cost to get there. It shows you the actual MPGs you achieve for all your trips, even for older cars that don’t display fuel efficiency on the dashboard.
  • Parking Reminders: Automatic always knows where you parked your car, helping you find it again easily.
  • Crash Alert: If you’re ever in a crash, Automatic alerts emergency services with your location. It can even contact your loved ones to let them know what happened and that help is on the way.
  • Keep Your Engine Healthy: Automatic connects with your car’s computer whenever you drive and can tell you why that “check engine” light came on. It can decode the problem and in many cases offer a solution. The app even lets you clear the light yourself and save a trip to the mechanic.

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