Antuan Goodwin, reporting for CNET:
Two years ago, the Automatic smart driving monitor launched as a sort of “fitbit for cars,” connecting on-board diagnostic (OBD) technology to the Web to present driving data in a way that almost anyone can understand. Today, Automatic launches its Automatic App Gallery, a sort of app store for cars with over 20 apps that work with Automatic’s hardware, alongside a new developer platform and second-generation hardware.
There’s trip mileage apps designed to integrate with expense tracking software, an app that can help split the cost of carpooling, and many more available at launch.
I thought about buying an Automatic a few months back when I found out how much most mechanics charge to read data from the OBD port. But with the release of second-generation hardware, I’m happy I hadn’t pulled the trigger yet. This latest dongle supports the company’s new streaming SDK which is able to send raw, realtime performance data to select third-party apps.
I’m excited to see what developers are able to come up with on this platform. I think most drivers could benefit from having more information about their automobile’s performance and better explanations when something goes wrong — the “check engine” light isn’t very descriptive.
The second-generation Automatic Car Adapter is available from Amazon for $99.95.