Accelerating past the automotive industry’s slow lane technology adoption rate, mobile app Automatic is aiming to bring a slew of smart-car features still missing in most automobiles on the road today: realtime driving statistics, parking spot mapping, engine problem diagnostics without the need for a visit to the mechanic, and even the ability to facilitate calling for help in the event of an accident.
Automatic’s two-piece system requires installation of a data collecting and transmitting dongle into the vehicle’s data port (compatible with gasoline cars sold in the U.S. since 1996). Once linked with the iOS or Android app, the Automatic Link hardware works wirelessly using Bluetooth 4.0, providing drivers with analytics about every step of the gas or brake pedal, including speeding, braking, and acceleration habits, with a tallied driving score. Think of it as a report card scoring daily driving habits, hopefully steering users toward more eco-friendly driving.
Automatic becomes even more interesting when connected to the powerfully customizable automation service, IFTTT (“if this then that”), using a mobile connection as a tether and automation switch for executing a variety of tasks with compatible hardware devices, cloud services, and social media.
Imagine your vehicle automatically emailing your mechanic when a check engine warning comes on, turning on or dimming home lights as you depart or arrive, or automatically sending out notifications to family members you’ve arrived back home safely after a visit via Facebook, Twitter, or email. All this is possible thanks to IFTTT integration, giving Automatic users an array of options for triggering “recipes” of internet-connected behaviors using mobile apps and services like Google Calendar, Facebook, Twitter, alongside wireless enabled hardware like Phillips Hue, Nest Thermostat, Google Glass, and Belkin WeMo.
Automatic is available now for $99.99 for iOS, with pre-orders for an Android release later this year.