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New app/widget combo taps into OBD port to connect iPhone to car’s onboard systems

Startup company Automatic has launched an iPhone app and companion widget called the Automatic Link that, by plugging into the OnBoard Diagnostics (OBD) port, connects the iPhone to the car’s onboard systems. Automatic for Android will ship this fall. Automatic is designed to work with almost every gasoline car sold in the US since 1996.

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Automatic Link plugs into the OBD port. Click to enlarge.

The system is intended to function as a smart driving assistant that helps drivers save fuel, drive more safely, and understand what’s happening under the hood. It also remembers where the car is parked and can automatically call for help in a crash. The Automatic Link retails for $69.95 and is available for pre-order at automatic.com today, shipping in May. The Automatic app and service are free.

Automatic’s key features and benefits include:

  • Automatic_MIL
    Diagnostics via OBD and Automatic. Click to enlarge.

    Engine Health: Automatic connects with your cars OBD system and can decode problems and in cases offer a solution. The app lets a driver clear the light.

  • Personalized Drive Score: Automatic gives you personalized feedback on your driving with your weekly drive score on a scale from 0-100. The drive score is based on metrics shown to increase fuel efficiency and safety, such as braking and accelerating smoothly.

  • Trips in a Timeline: The Automatic app displays detailed information about where drivers go and how much gas it cost to get there. It shows the actual MPGs achieves for all trips, even for older cars that don’t display fuel efficiency on the dashboard.

  • Parking Reminders: Automatic always knows where the car is parked.

  • Crash Alert: After a crash, Automatic alerts emergency services with the location, and can contact friends or family to let them know what happened and that help is on the way.

To “install” Automatic, a driver downloads the app to the iPhone, plugs the Automatic Link into the OBD port, and starts driving. Automatic Link connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth.

Automatic is a Y-Combinator company with investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and others.

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