Parting words for Automatic

I really buy into the premise: drive better, be fuel efficient. But this has loads of problems and ultimately makes my driving more stressful.

After nearly three months of using Automatic I got my first perfect score last week. But not for a lack of trying. The sensor dings me for accelerations that are not sudden (it's very unforgiving for standard transmissions), dings me for breaking that is not hard, and dings me for driving 69 mph (somehow the sensor thinks 69 > 70). I have a digital display telling me how fast I am, so either my car is lying to me or the device is dead wrong. Or how about when I set the cruise control to 68 and I get to 70 because I'm going downhill.  Yeah, that was totally my fault.

The fuel efficiency is wrong. Sometimes it eats trips. It's maddening.

They don't allow a data export, yet they blog about all this interesting information amassed from the user base. Allow me access to my data, please.

I'd really like to see huge improvements to their algorithms used to determine 'bad driving', data export, and even things to help me shift better (wouldn't that be cool and fuel efficient???).

Ultimately, I've decided to put this device away and maybe pull it back out when some HUGE improvements have been made--if I don't sell the sensor first.

UPDATE 3 MAR 2014:

Isn't social media awesome?

There is an alpha developer API for data.  Building some apps around it sound like fun, except I'd like to be able to access the link, as well.  I won't pretend that this will ever happen (and rightly so) but it's fun to wish.

As reported here, the dash speedometer may be a few MPH off from what appears through the ODB link.  My response:

@waynehartman Actually, speedometer dash display can be off by a couple MPH from actual speed. More here: ^AM

@automatic OK…since you know that it’s off, why not match the link with what the display shows?

@waynehartman We just take the data directly from the OBD port. But I can check in w/ the engineers about that. ^AM

@automatic Not likely available via OBD, but it would stand to reason with so much aggregate data you have an idea of which cars are off.

Posted on Mar 1
Written by Wayne Hartman