|Item Weight||2.4 ounces|
|Package Dimensions||5 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches|
|Item model number||Link1-ON|
|Manufacturer Part Number||Link1-ON|
Automatic (Link1-ON White Smart Driving Assistant
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Automatic seeks to empower drivers with knowledge about themselves and their cars so they can be safer and drive smarter. We believe you shouldn’t have to buy a new car to have a better driving experience, and that the phone in your pocket can bring the future of driving to today’s automobiles. Automatic helps you make changes to your driving behavior so you can save on gas, always remembers where you parked, diagnoses your check engine light, and automatically calls for help in a crash while notifying your loved ones.
Top reviews from the United States
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I have spoken with Automatic about the connection issues I have experienced and they say that the problem is with my phone and not their product. Their solution is for me to take my phone and try, "turning it off and back on again." I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have the time to be restarting my phone every time I get in a car. I'd love to give this product 5 stars but it doesn't work well. The only reason I haven't returned it is because I'm hoping that if I am ever in an accident that the Automatic will actually be connected to my phone and someone will call 911 and my loved ones on my behalf letting them know I was in an accident.
I have to change drop my review down to a 1 star review now. While out driving today, a 100 mile trip on local roads was reported as a 42 mile trip on the interstate. It looks like what my Automatic did when it processed the trip is just got directions from Point A to Point B instead of actually following where I went. I'm not sure if the new 2nd Gen Automatic would fix my problems, but for the amount of money I've lost on the first two, buying a new one to see if it actually works isn't worth it for me.
But, the app still has connection problems due to iPhone and iOS bugs in the Bluetooth stack.
Automatic is a very cool product and the company has highly engaged customer support. I like what it can do. I have used it for a few months, and I love the trip reports with exact mileage and estimated cost. We used it on a few road trips and it is very handy. Installation is easy, and it is easy to switch between cars as well.
One of my additional strong likes is that it is the only Bluetooth OBD reader on the market that works with iPhones. Thanks to Apple's proprietary BT implementation, no one else (that I have found) makes a BT-based OBD scanner for the iPhone. And this is the lead in to my chief criticism...
The problem: Automatic has 2 significant iPhone compatibility issues that degrade (depending on the car) the experience to the point that I simply removed mine.
1) Automatic will not reliably connect to the iPhone app. Their forum user community and technical support are both aware and working on a fix. Automatic's recommended work-around is to kill the app, and if that does not work, reboot the phone. I did this for a while, but then I decided it is unsafe to try to jack around with my phone while driving to get a driving assistance app to function. So I gave up. Automatic blames an Apple bug in the Bluetooth stack; but from a user's point of view, it does not matter. If the product fails to capture half (or more) of your trips, it loses its usefulness.
Although it will not consistently connect, I still like it. It gives good information when it works. And, I like the BT OBD reading function. I am looking forward to the future firmware and app updates that might solve Bluetooth connectivity problem. Or, Apple could update their BT stack to be compliant with the BT standards.
* If your car breaks down, then if the car's computer knows why, you'll know too, and that will help you get a better idea about what to do about it and how honest the mechanic is being about the solution.
* In the event of an accident (detected via motion sensors in the device), it will call for help. Automatic's staff (a *person*, not a machine) will contact you first to find out if you're OK, and then that person can call people on the emergency contact list you specified on your phone.
* Driving score potentially helpful for coaching young drivers (for parents who need that sort of thing), and may help experienced drivers learn how to save gas and brake pads.
* Automatic interferes with the use of other Bluetooth devices, causing regular interval silences in the audio received and transmitted. This bug has been plaguing this generation of the device for over 2 years now, and though it's better in the Gen 2 device, it's still not solved even now. It doesn't affect all cars or phones, but they haven't found any specific pattern to troubleshoot it, although turning off wifi on your phone seems to help.
* It depends on a stable Bluetooth connection to your phone. If your phone is out of RAM and killing apps to manage everything you've got running, it's going to kill the Automatic app too. No app, no benefits. Fix your phone first.
* On my car, it tends to fall off of the adapter. It seems to get loose the more it's plugged & unplugged, and if you're having the Bluetooth problems described above, you'll find yourself unplugging it a lot.
* I wish I could turn off the driving score; my wife hates that she's being "watched" though will put up with it for the peace of mind that she would get help in an accident.
* You can only share the same car with multiple drivers if they use the same kind of phone. All iPhone or all Android families seem to do fine, but the device ignores "unfamiliar" phone OSes (mixed iPhone and Android)