Talking tech since 2003

A few weeks ago I received my Automatic Smart Driving Assistant after pre-ordering the device back in March.  The Automatic plugs into a port in your car (typically underneath your steering wheel) and communicates with your smartphone (using Bluetooth) via the app — the little device feeds the app all kinds of useful information such gas consumption, if your car is experiencing any problems, if you were in an accident, and more.

automatic-report-2The hardware and the software work in lockstep, every trip is mapped and used to calculate your overall driver score which is based on the driving feedback given by the Automatic. Automatic can tell when you’re wasting gas, accelerating too quickly, braking too hard, or even speeding on the highway (10 mph over the speed limit) which results in less fuel efficiency.

So now with Automatic when I step too hard on the gas to accelerate, it makes a little beep to let me know.  It’s pretty much like having someone saying, “Hey man, ease up on the gas a bit — you’re wasting money.”  The same type of thing happens if I brake too hard which could lead to my brake pads being worn down — and we certainly don’t want that.

But Automatic also does some other really cool stuff that I thankfully haven’t had to experience yet.  Automatic can tell you if you are experiencing problems with your car and exactly what the problem is so you can get it fixed (without getting ripped off mind you).  So for example, if that pesky check engine light goes on, Automatic can tell you why it went on.  How awesome is that? You used to have to go to a mechanic and rely on their word to tell you what the problem was.  Not anymore.

The other really neat thing Automatic can do is detect if you were in a car crash (using its built-in accelerometer) and alert 911 with your name, exact location, and vehicle description. And if that wasn’t cool enough for you, it can also send a text message to your loved ones to let them know you were in an accident, where you are, and that help is on the way.  Mind blown.

So far my Automatic driver score hasn’t been too great, that may have been due to poor fuel efficiency — yeah, let’s just go with that euphemism.  I also saw that I have some rough braking and hard accelerations to work on.  This is all good to know as if I’m able to improve my driving a bit, I can save money on gas.  This week my driving score is a stellar 87 (out of 100), but I think that’s because Mandy (my girlfriend) has been driving my car for the most part.

Another nifty feature of the Automatic is that it can help you find your car, since it maps your trips, it can use the GPS to pin-point your car’s location in a crowded mall parking lot. There goes another huge headache for many people, “Did I park in G6 or J6?  I don’t remember.”

The Automatic works with pretty much every car that’s been made since 1996 so chances are your car is supported and the app will work on both iOS and Android once it launches. So go on, go ahead and pre-order your Automatic today for a one-time fee of $69.95.  It’s well worth it.

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