Most modern cars have complex on-board computers that track, record and control information on just about every aspect of the car. Mostly this information is used by technicians to pinpoint problems and conduct other diagnostic tests when you bring it in to get serviced. You’ll see a small fraction of this information at work through your car’s dashboard – data points such as fuel usage, average speed and oil levels can be viewed as you drive.
But apart from really new cars, that’s about where the fun ends for most of us.
Enter Automatic – an adaptor for any car with a a standard diagnostics (OBD-II) port that allows you to access, track and plot this information over time from your smartphone.
The device beams the information from the onboard computer to an app on your phone via Bluetooth, which then uses it to calculate and display some interesting analytics. The makers claim this could help you to change your driving behaviour in order to save fuel.
The app is where the real power sits for this device. Combine this data with some clever algorithms and integrations, and you have an automatic trip mileage expense calculator, a parking finder, emergency contact point, trip logger and, of course, diagnostic information reader. The app can also put your phone into “do not disturb” mode whilst you drive to keep your attention focused on the road.
It’s a bit of a “nice to have” tool, but for those that frequently drive around for work or anyone interested in geeking out on the information recorded, it would be well worth the AUD 130 price tag
*note – the website currently states that cars outside the USA may not be supported. We recommend that you check the supported vehicle list and contact the manufacturers before ordering.