Automatic Labs has a hardware device that connects to a car. It costs $99.95 and essentially serves as a car monitor, for example, to help save on the price of gas. But it also has a lot more to it, including location capabilities, the ability to analyze performance, send messages and connect to other cars.
At API Days in San Francisco today I interviewed Ram Jayaraman, founding engineer at Automatic Labs about its products and the just emerging technology stack it is developing for the connected car
The Automatic Link, its hardware technology, connects into a car’s data port. The car and smartphone automatically connect in a wireless manner whenever a driver is on the road. It is available as an iOS app and Android.
Automatic is designed as an auto assistant. It learns about the driver’s style, giving subtle audio cues when the driver is wasting gas. It notifies the driver brakes abruptly, is speeding or rapidly accelerates. The service also provides a weekly scorecard for the driver. The higher the score, the more that is saved on gas. It also offers a timeline, recording how much the driver is traveling and where.
It also detects fill-ups and tracks local gas prices to show how much the driver is spending.
The service is extending in a few ways. Automatic has developed an API that it has integrated with ifttt, the service that connects different apps. With ifttt, a customer may connect services such as a notifications that send text messages. For example, when a person leaves work, Automatic through ifttt, can send a message notifying the recipient that they are on their way home.
The technology stack has a lot of unknowns and the use cases are still very much undefined. But the simple cost savings that come with optimizing a person’s driving exemplifies the constellation of microservices that are emerging to make the connected car a reality.