• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Idea, Great Execution

    • Written by from Mount Holly

    I've been very pleased with how well this product was implemented. It's very reliable and the feature set is good.... and continues to get better. I am looking for more complex data analytics later on.... but for now it does a great job with the features listed. I bought the product when it was in beta and have seen how hard this company has worked to deliver a superior product to make your car a little bit smarter. Five stars -keep up the good work Automatic. This is a no brainer app accessory in my mind -definitely the most useful app accessory I've bought this year.

    14 of 15 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic Product Can't Wait for More

    • Written by from SEA CLIFF

    This is a terrific product. I hope that as time progresses the developers add-in the opportunity to really pull info from the vehicle's computer. Would love to see metrics on my car's health, not just what code it's throwing when the check engine light comes on.

    25 of 28 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    fantastic tool for better mpg and more civilized driving

    • Written by from SAN DIEGO

    Typical OBD-II readers cost anywhere from $30 to over $100 with built in plain-english codes for a given error. Automatic promised to provide this information along with the ability to reset those codes; a feature typically associated with the more expensive lot, so I ordered one. Other functions of the Automatic included locating your car when you've lost it, calling 911 in the event of an airbag deploy automatically, and providing a read out and 'score' of your trip based on a few metrics focused on fuel economy.

    That last part is the feature which stands to help reshape our automotive landscape in ways I didn't originally anticipate when making my purchase. Prior to owning the Automatic I wasn't entirely obsessed with hypermiling or fuel economy, I own a 300hp turbocharged track monster after all, and there in lies the beauty. Automatic assigns you a score with every completed trip which focuses on hard acceleration, braking, and exceeding the speed limit. They've determined those three behaviors are key to reshaping a person's overall fuel economy, and are the behaviors we may be the least aware of. When you do engage in that bad behavior the Automatic emits a specific beep for each of the three. A few of my friends had turned their's off but I was game to give this a try. A week later, the simple corrective action of a chirp combined with the naturally competitive desire to achieve a higher score saw me driving in the most calm, aware, and safe manner ever.

    As I continue to strive to achieve the ultimate trip score my fuel spent continues to decline and my MPG averages are at the manufacturer suggested numbers for in town and highway. Yet it's the actual behavior change that really shocked me. To eek out the best fuel economy, to avoid hard stops and starts during rush hour, you absolutely need to focus on the task at hand, at driving. In a world where drivers are increasingly focused on status updates and annoyed at the task of piloting their cars, something as simple as making them aware of their habits, how they can reduce the money spent on gas, and overall behavior can make a big - voluntary change. If you're competitive and also looking to save some cash, grab an Automatic, you won't regret it.

    40 of 41 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Device lacks accuracy, product support is superficial

    • Written by from Chandler

    Automatic is a good idea, not realized in current product and software. Find device fails to connect to my iPhone resulting is missed data, and mpg is grossly in error based on fuel consumed per files traveled.

    Limited ability to contact Automatic. Their web site is disjointed at best and nothing more than advertisement for the product. Did receive a response to mpg problem that stated a software upgrade was in progress that resolves problem. Not true... nothing has changed. mpg continues to be less then half of actual calculated value.

    Would suggest one hold off on purchasing Automatic at this time. $100 is to much to spend on a product that provides misinformation and does not always connect.

    14 of 31 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Did NSA Design this Device?

    • Written by from SAGINAW

    This device plugs into the ODB port of your car and transmits information to the iOS app on your device. The information includes the length of the trip you made on your car, what was your car mileage, how much fuel did you use, how many hard accelerations did you do, how many hard breaks did you make, and how many times did you exceed 70 mph on the expressway. If any of the diagnostic lights come on your dashboard, for example the engine light, then it tells you what's wrong with the car. In the event of a crash, the App calls the local law enforcement authorities and your three emergency contacts.

    It supposedly turns you into a better driver by giving you the feedback on your acceleration, braking, and speed. Every trip, you get a score of your driving. Every trip you make is recorded with all this information. You cannot access your information on the web, only on the App.

    There were some installation glitches. I had to do the connection between App and the device 3 times because it froze at this stage stating "encrypting connection". Then it failed to detect the ignition until I started driving the car. As of now, there is no Android app, only iOS app.

    I am not entirely sure how much useful this device is. Some of the information I'm already getting from my car like mileage.

    My biggest concern about this device and the app is the privacy. In order to set up the device, you have to set up an account with your email address, and name. So anybody who has an access to that account, can know where you have been, what speed have you been driving, and what kind of a driver you are. If I were NSA, and I wanted to find out where everybody's car is at any time and where they had been, this is the device I would use.

    4 of 19 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Useless

    • Written by from Indianapolis

    I found the device was preset with preferences unacceptable to me. For example there is no way to adjust the speed limit beep from 70 mph. No real time data is delivered at all, so there is no feedback at all while you are driving. Not until you are done with your trip, then it is too late to adjust. The factory dash instruments on my Prius are vastly more helpful. Fortunately, Automatic.com allowed me to return it for a full refund. A waste of money IMO.

    20 of 41 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great driving experience

    • Written by from Richmond

    I thought this tech toy was just for data lovers/car pros. But after weeks of trying myself and letting my wife use it, I have to say this product is meant for everyone. Can't wait for more features to be introduced in later versions.

    21 of 22 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Perfect Xmas present for techie or car lover

    • Written by from Chevy Chase

    This fits in a stocking and will make all but
    the tech phobic and disinterested car owners
    very happy campers

    22 of 24 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    excellent!

    • Written by from San Francisco

    Just bought it. I have been using this for a week. I have a BMW 328i 2011. Works well as advertised!

    Good for people who do a lot of driving/commuting.

    No bugs so far on my iPhone 5S.

    19 of 21 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Paid for Itself in the 1st Hour

    • Written by from Alexandria

    I just got this thing for my old (2001) Volvo. It took me about 5 minutes to install it and get it up and running. Would have been about 3 minutes except it took me a few tries to understand how firmly I needed to push when installing the thing (the instructions said what to do, I just was a little slow about it).

    My check engine light was on and I was able to use the Automatic app to view the cause of the light being on AND clear the light. This saved me a trip to the mechanic to deal with the light, which was worth the $100 I paid for the device (to say nothing of the hassle of taking the car in).

    So far it works fine and seeing stats about my driving habits and fuel consumption is interesting. Nice idea.

    29 of 30 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Overpriced, under-useful

    • Written by from Santa Clara

    There are so many problems with this product, but the deal breaker is that it just doesn't do much -- even when it does work. If your car has a built-in trip computer that's anywhere near capable, don't bother with this thing. A few of the problems it suffers from:

    • Zero real-time data. Compared to my 1999 car's standard-issue trip computer, this is an embarrassing shortcoming for the Automatic.
    • "Remember Where I Parked" seems more like a lucky accident than a deliberately designed feature. And it's completely useless in a multi-level parking garage.
    • Uploads your driving data to the company's servers. You have no access to your data once Automatic Labs has it, not even for some potentially useful charting over time.
    • Uploads your VIN to the company's servers. The Automatic doesn't provide vehicle-specific fault codes anyway, so there's no excuse for this.
    • Doesn't show a log of past fault codes. Will only show any current code, which is less than useful for troubleshooting over time.
    • Beeps annoyingly if you brake hard. The last thing I need, after braking hard to avoid an accident, is a dumb device squawking at me that I shouldn't break hard. Maybe I should just hit the other car instead.
    • It also squawks annoyingly if it catches you speeding -- which it defines as 70 mph, non-configurable. Do 40 in a 25mph zone? Doesn't matter -- it won't squawk, even though that's more dangerous than doing 72 in a 70mph zone (which my drive includes). Oh, and you can't disable the squawking.
    • If it's squawking because it thinks you're wasting gas, it should also check what gear you're in. It doesn't. 40mph in 3rd is going to burn more gas than 70mph in 5th. The magic 70mph number reigns supreme.
    • It bases cost estimates on data from the last gas station you filled up at, but doesn't take into account what grade of gas you buy (which, of course, affects price by 10¢ to 20¢ per gallon). There's no way to manually enter a price.

    This product wasn't worth the money at its introductory price of $70. Now it's $100? Forget it. I've unplugged mine from my car, and will only use it again if and when I have a "Check Engine" light that I want to reset.

    The Automatic has long way to go to justify even its introductory price. In its current form, it's very disappointing.

    76 of 99 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Works as advertised

    • Written by from Colorado Springs

    Works great with my 1998 Land Rover Discovery and 2002 Volvo. All features work as advertised. Product has great potential, would like to see more real-time features, such as MPG. Would also like to see a summary page that shows aggregate results, vs current weekly method. You have to page through week-by-week.

    32 of 36 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Example of what app-enabled devices should be

    • Written by from Cranberry Twp

    The automatic link and app have changed the way that I drive. After installing the link in both cars, I feel that I have a much better understanding of the way that I drive my car. Knowing the MPG's and cost incurred on my commute has helped me to better budget for my month's gas.

    Plus, their support rocks! Tweet @automatic or submit a support ticket and they'll get back to you STAT.

    35 of 38 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    So far so good

    • Written by from Escondido

    Product is at its infancy stage but for the most parts, it works as advertised. I picked up the device on Saturday, but on Monday a feature of the app which sends text to your emergency list in case of an accident was missing. An in-app feedback allowed me to send a message to their support and I received the answer in an Email in a couple of hours. As it turns out, the app updated the firmware of the device and I had to disable bluetooth, re-enable it, logout of the app and log back in. Right after that, the "Crash Alert" showed up. It allowed me to pick 3 contacts from my contact list, so they would receive a text alert with my location, in case I get in an accident. They each received an introductory text explaining this. I wished that the app would have said this at first, since my wife actually thought I was in a crash and my daughter thought it was a hoax and the text was going to somehow ask for money!

    The setup is super easy and the app guides you through want needs to be done. It even turns on your flashlight, if you need to see where to plug-in the device. It fetched my VIN, matched the model of my car and that was it. I can't wait to see more features on the app. For now, I have the device beep if I accelerate too fast or brake too hard. App keeps track of these as well as my total driving, where I was driving faster than 70 Mph and my MPG. I haven't had any "check engine" light indicator issues, but the app says that it will tell you what the code is and allows you to turn it off. It even finds the closest mechanic shop for you. For now, I think we have a good product here.

    42 of 44 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great idea, with room for improvements

    • Written by from RICHMOND

    This is a great idea and there is a lot of potential here however the product is not quite 'there' yet.

    The install process for me was a bit kludgy and I had to re-insert the device to my car OBD II port a few times before it could be recognized by the app. Then, it still would not work right until I restarted my iPhone. Further, in the app, there is supposed to be a crash report feature where you can set it up to notify someone of your choosing in case of an accident, however that feature is no where to be found within the app!

    This app will read any fault codes output by your vehicle and tell you what is wrong. It will also let you turn off the 'check engine' light. I have not had any car trouble yet so I haven't had a chance to try this aspect of the device and app.

    One feature that is very clearly missing from the app however is the ability to use it as a standard OBD II terminal for advanced programming of vehicle options. My Toyota Prius for example, allows one to program disabling of reverse beeping by entering in some coding when connected to the OBD II port using a text terminal. But, Automatic doesn't allow for this functionality.

    I believe this platform has a lot of potential for improvement and am excited to see that they (and third party developers) are able to accomplish with it in the future. I would like display of more real time engine information like RPM, temperature, etc. As it is now, the app is basically meant to not display anything while you drive and only calculates a report for you after you turn off the car.

    And because of the fact that my car already gives me most all of the MPG and driving feedback built-in, this add on is not as useful to me than it would be to someone who has a car that doesn't already have these features built-in.

    167 of 192 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    GREAT product, paradigm shift…

    • Written by from Fair Oaks Ranch

    Love this thing! Thanks Apple for recognizing yet another revolutionary product area in the "Automatic". I'm a logistics/utilities geek when it comes to maintaining and operating my automobiles. I'm also a professional pilot and deem it essential to be in tune with expensive mechanical devices that cost me $$$ if I use them incorrectly and/or inefficiently. This being said, I can say that this concept is WAY overdue for anyone that cares about the significant, ongoing investment in their car. I also have TEENAGERS (3), that I care about deeply. The Automatic enhances their safety and my peace of mind. I love this device! "It just works", as advertised out of the box. Amazing times we live in...

    Thx Apple…Thx Automatic!

    37 of 43 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Half Baked

    • Written by from Warsaw

    I like the idea but the implementation hasn't been done well. Even when opening the app before every drive, the link and app don't always synchronize. This leaves trips partially recorded or sometimes completely missed.

    One glaring omission is the lack of ability to view real-time data from the OBD-II bus. This seems a rather simple feature to tack on.

    12 of 30 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    works very well for me at this point

    • Written by from SAND SPRINGS

    I use this for keep track of my miles. I'm starting my own bussiness and i need to know how many miles from point A to B to C and so on. I also need do know what messages (codes) my trucks computer is sending. I have a code that comes up but I have no idea what is going on. My truck runs great but from time to time it codes. I'm hoping to use this Automatic so that I can fix what is going on. I want this give this 5 stars but the MPG's are off, well from what i can tell. I have only used this for 100 miles. but I will update my review asap when I know the real MPG's. I look forward to see what the makers can add to make this a KILLER, MUST HAVE item!!!! I would love to see something added so that I can preplan my trip and see what "MPG's" I would get if I took the trip. I will update my review this soon. I have High hope for automatic!! I want to add one more thing! When looking at the maps part I would love to have satellite view. I need to zoom in and see what is around me. When I have my trailer I want to know before hand where I can turn around.

    25 of 28 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Perfect example of iPhone's power

    • Written by from Matthews

    This app has allowed me to track and budget for gas, as well as be more aware of how I'm driving. I love the beeps when I accelerate too hard. I just bought a new car, and this product has helped me adjust to driving it. Pairing was a little difficult, but it's flawless now.

    152 of 172 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great product and an improving app

    • Written by from Suwanee

    I have a 2010 Dodge Journey; the automatic works perfectly with it. Installation was extremely simple. You simply snapped it into my onboard computer that walked me through set up and everything worked great.
    My friends know about it, when I stop short or rapidly accelerate the automatic makes noise. My friends always joke that I'm losing score points, calling that audible beep deduction.

    It is the perfect addition to your car.

    35 of 42 people found this useful