Automatic – Your Personal Driving Assistant

Automatic_Adapter_AndroidCustom OBDII Dongle with Android & iOS app designed for everyday users and not just mechanics, Automatic is a class above the rest in terms of data collection, display, compatibility, features and most all – third party app support.

The short and sweet version of what Automatic is – a simple dongle you plug under your dashboard to the OBDII Module (present in cars since 1996) that feeds you information about your car’s health, your driving style, mileage and much more in a neatly organized application on your smartphone.

Getting Ready

While the app itself is free to download from Google Play as well as Apple App Store, you need to get the Automatic dongle for $99 directly from their website, which in a way is a good thing.

To avoid returns and post-purchase complications, before you order the dongle, your car and smartphone are both verified for compatibility with Automatic. Usually everything should check out unless you own a car manufactured prior to 1996 without the OBDII port or your smartphone is just as outdated.

Once plugged in, the Automatic Link dongle syncs up with its proprietary app via Bluetooth and transmits data such as location stats, driving style, fuel efficiency, engine health, last parked location, log trips and much more. It even has third party app support. Furthermore, when not driving, it shows weekly statistics on your drive data, list of trips made and including previous parking locations.

Many Suitors But None As Good As This

Okay so you probably have heard of such devices before. Torque (which is more of a mechanics tool and has a higher learning curve) is a commonly used car data monitoring app that you can use with a standard OBDII module. Then there is Zubie Key, MetroMile’s Metronome and the rest. What really sets Automatic apart is its consumer-focused approach — but this does not mean it lacks in functionality or usability. Like the rest, it monitors all vital statistics of your vehicle. It just has a more pleasing final picture that even a newly licensed driver can understand.

The Basic App Features

Automatic app’s main focus is to let you enjoy your drive by setting automated updates on fuel consumption, engine performance, speed warnings and more. Setup is simple and the app guides you thru connecting via Bluetooth, scanning your car’s VIN code to import statistics specific to your vehicle, and configuring the app itself. Then you simply choose what the app ought to monitor and set limits, fasten your seatbelt and drive away. Each infraction of aforesaid limits sets off a quiet alarm to alert you of your rashness!

If you prefer not to be disturbed by the alarms, you can switch it off and the module silently records all data giving you a weekly or daily summary of infractions plus other statistics on demand. Best of all, once your drive is complete and you switch off your car, the app marks the last known location to extrapolate trip statistics based on your drive time, idle time and distance.

One major feature that any driver will find handy is the engine health monitor. Usually when your car’s check engine light glows, the only thing you can do is follow up with a mechanic to find out why. With Automatic, you need not always visit the mechanic. The app records all associated status codes and displays a description of what is wrong with the engine. A loose gas cap, a heated radiator – these aren’t issues you need to pay for. Anyone with a little DIY experience can fix them and with Automatic, such simple engine problems are easy to spot.

Another unique feature is Automatic’s dashboard – a cloud/web based site that you can review your car data on in more detail per screen that the phone app allows.

Third Party App Integration

Automatic is also compatible with many third party vendors such as License+ for brand new drivers and even the IFTTT app. Plugged in and synced up, your Automatic dongle will let you use many other driving apps and create integrations between apps, smarthome solutions and just about anything. Remember to check out the Automatic homepage for more details on this.

The Verdict

Automatic is just awesome. Unobtrusive – unless you go crazy behind the wheel – and powerful, yet simple to use. The only worrying proposition of buying Automatic for some would be that it shares all your car and usage data to their cloud servers. Would have appreciated it more if they kept it all private on the app alone but otherwise, this is an excellent, and a preferred, alternative to the dicey import $20 OBDII modules.