Automatic Link Talks to Your Car’s Computer, Reports to iPhone

| Cool Stuff Found

Have you seen Automatic Link? It's a device that connects directly to your car's onboard computer and relays the data to your iPhone or Android device. The app can then give you feedback about your driving—if you then act on that feedback, your mileage could improve. You also get detailed diagnostic information, the kind of information normally available only to your mechanic, including decoding your Check Engine light. Cool, right? The device is available now for US$99.95 (no subscription required), it works only in the U.S., and it works with, "just about any gasoline engine car sold in the U.S. since 1996." See our review for more information.


Check It Out: Automatic Link Talks to Your Car’s Computer, Reports to iPhone

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I got one of these as a Christmas present. I like it!
—The dongle attaches in the diagnostic port under my dashboard and communicates with my iPhone via Bluetooth.
—The Automatic app notes where my car is when I park it. I haven’t had a single case of “where the heck did I leave my car?” since then.
—The dongle beeps every time I accelerate or brake too hard. I haven’t decided yet whether this is helpful or annoying. If (when?) I finally find this too bothersome, it’s easy to turn off.
—The check engine light came on last month, but Automatic said “your car is fine.” A trip to the service man revealed the car decided it was due for an oil change. So… Automatic was correct.
—Props to Dave Hamilton, who first raved about this on the TMO Mac Geek Gab!


Yeah, it’s great until…oh, you got into an accident…what’s that dongle there?  oh, it tracks how fast you drive your vehicle.  I guess I better subpeona those records.  Bad news, you regularly speed, and were speeding at the time of the accident, so your rates are doubled.  And every other insurance company also knows this now.


Unfortunately “almost all” does not include current and recent 5-series BMWs

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