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Automatic for the People

Automatic: You need this app, driver

  • 18 November 2013

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.

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