Thursday, 31 July 2014

Automatic Link Tracks Your Car's Health and Fuel Efficiency

Certainly one of the hottest topics in technology this year is digital health , which include gadgets like the Fitbit One that continuously keep track of your body and allow you to exercise , eat , and sleep better . But how about your car ? 

Automatic Labs , a San Francisco-based startup created last year , today unveiled the Automatic Link . It's a combination iPhone app and also dongle that plugs into your car's ODB-II port , which is the identical one mechanics use to run a state inspection or even check your car when it's in for service . Each and every car from 1996 or newer sold in the U .S . has this port , and it's generally located underneath the dashboard to the staying of the steering wheel . To set up Automatic Link , you download and read the iPhone app , plug in the dongle , and then set the two via Bluetooth 4 .0 . 

Whenever you drive somewhere , Automatic Link at the same time hooks into your car's onboard computer and your smartphone GPS and information plan to act as a "smart assistant ," as the organization puts it . What does that do for you ? Automatic Labs says its device can learn your driving style after which give you audio cues to help you drive more efficiently , for example avoiding forceful braking ( except in emergencies , of course ) , not speeding , and not accelerating too quickly . It assigns you a rating each week to allow you to improve and save money on gas . 

There's additionally a Trip Timeline , which shows you where you drove during the week , how much time you invested in the car , and your genuine miles-per-gallon average , which I'm presuming it will estimate based on the kind of car , engine , transmission , and trim degree you have . It's pretty complicated , so we'd have to test it to see precisely how well it does . The Automatic Link also knows when you've filled the car with gas , and can help you track local gas price ranges to find cheaper places to fill up ( though a lot of apps already do that ) .

Automatic Link also offers some CarMD-like features , for example helping you troubleshoot engine trouble codes , but unlike CarMD , Automatic Link will in addition let you clear the codes and not have to take the car into the store . It can also help you find well-reviewed mechanics near the area . The app can also send push announcements whenever the check engine or other idiot light comes on . 
One very important feature is currently in beta : the ability to act as an OnStar-like emergency call-in . The Fully automatic Link includes an accelerometer , which can detect different kinds of crashes . If it detects one , it will make use of your phone's data connection to report the crash to a local 911 unexpected emergency service with your name , location , and vehicle type . Then it can text family or even friends to let them know something happened , where you are , and that help is on the way . 

Most of the time , you need to buy a new or late-model used car to get emergency services built-in . However newer third-party products like Splitsecnd and OnStar FMV allow you to add this to any existing car ; this is the least expensive one I've seen yet . 
Definitely , Automatic Link helps you remember exactly where your car is parked , and doesn't require a manual check-in . Just leave the vehicle ; if you want to find it again , you may check the app and it will highlight where the car is . It also keeps track of many people driving the car , so every person can show the other where the car is . 

Automated Link is available for pre-order for $69 .95 direct from the company , and will be shipping and delivery in May ; mercifully , it requires no subscription fees . Stay tuned for a full review as soon as we can get one in .

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