Automatic, the Company That Made Your Dumb Car Smart, Is Shutting Down

In 2013 Automatic was launched with a simple idea: by connecting a simple dongle to your car’s OBD-II port and connecting it to an app, you could easily make your car smart. Over time, the company added features such as collision detection, roadside assistance, fuel consumption reports, engine data, etc. But now the company closes its doors, effective May 28.

The beautiful part of Automatic was the simplicity and ease of use. You bought the Automatic Pro dongle and plugged it into your car’s OBD-II port (standard on cars since the mid-90s). He then connected to an application on your phone and essentially transformed your vehicle into a smart car.

It has provided useful data like nearby petrol stations and could track your movements. Automatic has even gathered all the data collected to show you the cost of your trip based on the distance traveled, fuel consumption and service station stops you have made. It also provided engine alert information.

Initially, all functionality was provided with the dongle. But after Sirius XM (yes, the satellite radio company) bought Automatic in 2017, it lowered the price of the dongle and introduced a subscription service. Some features remained free while others required subscription.

Now the Automatic stops. In a press release on his site, he attributes the turn of events to the ongoing pandemic:

Like many other companies in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on our business. With fewer consumers buying and renting vehicles and drivers on the road, unfortunately we see no way forward for our business.

The service will continue until May 28 and users who rely on third-party integrations will see the service end on June 28. Automatic advises users to recycle the dongle. The company offers discounts, depending on how much you paid for the dongle and how you used it.

If you have used the Automatic service, you have until June 30 to download the driving data that you want to keep. After that, the company plans to delete the data. He also promises not to sell your data before deleting it.

If you want to get a discount, you will have to visit Automatic website and submit your request before June 15.

Source: Automatic

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