You and I both know we’re capable drivers.
Accidents? None. Speeding tickets? A few more than none. We’re not the aggressive drivers causing high speed accidents or the indecisive ones causing fender benders. We’re not the problem.
Enter: Automatic. It’s the new smartphone app that communicates with your car to analyze your driving habits and score you. That’s right, you can pay to have your phone give you a numerical rating every time you start your engine. Finally, proof of your superior driving skills.
Here’s how it works. You purchase a device about the size of an old-school pack of matches which is called the Automatic Link and plug it into the data port of your car. This is the same port your mechanic uses to get a computerized run-down of your car when you bring it into the shop. According to Automatic’s website, this technology will work on almost every car sold in the U.S. since 1996. Then, download their Automatic app onto your smartphone and you’re set. Every time you get in the car, the data port device will chat with your phone to give it the nitty gritty.
Here are some of the highlights of Automatic’s capabilities:
- Driving Feedback – It “learns about your driving style and gives you subtle audio cues when you do things that waste gas” such as rough braking, speeding, or rapid acceleration. (Fingers crossed that the subtle cues are in character voices with their own theme songs. Or foreign accents. Or all gently whispered.)
- Weekly Score – Your weekly driving patterns are combined to give you an overall score. (In a world in flux, this weekly report could be psychologically grounding enough to merit the price of the app. Meet with a therapist? Heck no! Automatic can tell me where I stand and I’m good to go.)
- Trip Timeline – This displays where you went that week and how long it took to get there. (Incredibly helpful for those of us with random bouts of amnesia.) Seriously, this would be great for those of us who are self-employed and log miles on our vehicles for tax purposes.
- Crash Alert – In the event of an accident (fingers crossed that this portion of the app would be wonderfully wasted by never needing to be used), Automatic calls 911* via your cell phone to report your name, location and vehicle description. It will even text your loved ones letting them know “what happened, where you are, and that help is on the way.”
- Engine Health – My personal favorite feature of this app. How many times has the check engine light come on only to find out from the mechanic is was due to the gas cap not being twisted closed 217 times? Automatic will give you the actual trouble code, which is what your mechanic gathers with his diagnostic machine, along with possible solutions. Brilliant!
- Location Memory – No more staring blankly into a sea of vehicles. Automatic will remember for you. Just ask your phone where your car is. It will tell you. (Another cheer from the memory-impaired or those of us with too many little details filling our brains and robbing us of functioning short term memory.)
If for no other reason purchase this app to prove that it’s them, not you.