Automatic for the People

By The Editors
November 18, 2013 9:00 am

Among the things every man should know — carve a turkey, fix a drink, delete your browsing history (and your cookies … and your autocomplete cache) — diagnosing what ails your buggy should be 101.

Here’s what’ll school you: the Automatic app, shipping now.

Automatic is a dongle — about the size of a stubby USB stick — that plugs into your car’s data port (if you have a car built since ‘96, you have one: check your compatibility here).

AutomaticFrom there, it wirelessly connects to your smartphone, and then the driving mastery begins.

First and foremost, Automatic claims you’ll save ⅓ your yearly spend on gas. The app monitors your wasteful driving practices (e.g., accelerating too quickly) and helps you gamify your drive — offering up a weekly score, a timeline and efficiency suggestions.

Some other benefits:

  • Tells you exactly what that mystifying “check engine” light means — and offers solutions.
  • Reminds you where you parked your car.
  • In case of a crash, connects you to Automatic’s call center, which alerts authorities.

Automatic is now available for about a C-note for the iPhone, with Android support coming later this month.

You can never know too much, man.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.