Father’s day is coming up this month, so is there anything left to get a Dad who has everything? I think there is. Enter Automatic. Automatic is a new car app and widget that you can plug into your car’s diagnostic port and extract data via a blue tooth connection and send it to your smart phone.
If you think about it, our cars are the most expensive computers that we own, so what kind of data is in it?
Automatic basically focuses on fuel-efficient driving. It monitors engine, acceleration, and location information. It will definitely make you aware of your driving behavior. You can set up alerts such as rapid acceleration, braking, or excessive speed.
So if Dad needs to track mileage to claim business expenses or wants to keep up with fuel costs, this will be handy. The app calculates trip statistics including drive time, distance, fuel costs, and fuel efficiency. Tapping a trip shows your route with “infractions” marked on the map, and gives you a score. This app is easy to use and simple to view.
One of the added benefits to Automatic is if your car’s check engine light comes on, the app will show you the status code, and give you a description of what is wrong. This is cool! If you forgot to tighten the gas cap, the app will let you know, which prevents you from running to a mechanic and paying big money for a diagnostic on your vehicle.
One question to think about, with this app and any app that stores your information, is this, what could be the legal liability? Automatic stores all of your information on their servers. Support personnel will delete individual trips upon request, but I think the user should be in control, and delete it when desired.
Automatic is $99 and is available on Amazon. Time to track that lead foot!