Many fancy new cars come with fancy on-board information systems. But you can't afford a fancy new car, so you make do with the econobox you bought second hand two years ago with no fancy computer in the dash. Don't miss out on modern tech with Automatic, a plug-in solution that turns your smartphone into a modern car computer.
Looks like a must-have cool gadget for car enthusiasts.
Using a small dongle called Automatic Link that plugs into your car's data port (the same one mechanics use when servicing your car), the system will perform real-time reads on the various things going on with your vehicle. All data is processed and displayed through the dedicated smartphone app via a Bluetooth 4.0 link, where you can monitor all the statistics your heart desires.
Automatic pulls data from the car's onboard computer, as well as your smartphone's GPS to come up with a variety of useful data for drivers, such as detailed information about your trips (driving paths, frequency, MPG), your driving score (the higher the score, the more efficient your driving is) and engine problems (it reads engine trouble codes and displays it). More importantly, it can alert you with audio cues when you're doing things that waste gas, such as braking abruptly, rapid acceleration and excessive speeding. The Link also has a built-in accelerometer that can detect crashes and automatically trigger calls for help (dials 911, then texts messages to your family members).
According to the product page, Automatic should work with practically all cars manufactured from 1996 onwards. Yep, that means your crappy ride can finally have a fancy albeit makeshift infotainment system, too. It's currently on pre-order, priced at $69.95.