About a year ago, I picked up the first version of the Automatic adapter. According to Automatic:
Automatic connects your car to the rest of your digital life.
And it does. If you’re familiar with IFTTT, you’ll have no problem creating recipes that integrate with Automatic. I have one recipe that logs each trip to a Google Spreadsheet, another turns lights on or off depending on whether I’m leaving or arriving.
Version 1 of the adapter had a few issues. It wouldn’t always connect, and when it didn’t, you’d lose the GPS track for that trip. I’ve been using version 2 of the adapter for a couple months now, and I can happily report that the connectivity issues seem to be fixed. Also, the new adapter has it’s own GPS functionality, so tracks aren’t totally lost if your phone doesn’t connect to the adapter. (Though the adapter’s placement under the dash doesn’t give it the best GPS signal.)
The other addition to version 2 of the module is the ability to connect to it directly to third party diagnostic apps. I tried out OBD Fusion and it’s pretty interesting.
Whether you have version 1 or version 2 of the adapter, the Automatic service will tie in with several different expense reporting services like Expensify or Fresh Books. If all that is more than you need, the Automatic app, (offered for both iOS and Android–though I haven’t tried the Android version myself,) offers a simple Business button for each trip. Tap it, and that trip is tagged as a business trip. On Automatic’s web dashboard, you can filter your trips by that Business tag, and mileage reporting for taxes becomes easy.
Have you tried the Automatic adapter? What other ways have you used it to automate your life?
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