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MacRumors
Mar 12, 2013, 09:00 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/12/automatic-link-app-and-bluetooth-adapter-create-connected-car-for-diagnostics-and-safety/)


A new combination of iPhone app and plug-in adapter from Automatic (http://www.automatic.com) to read data from your car's onboard diagnostics (OBD) port turns virtually any car manufactured after 1996 into a connected car, providing detailed data on your driving habits and cost of driving (via The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/12/4091036/automatic-for-iphone-displays-car-mileage-location-crash-response)).

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/automatic-800x531.png
The OBD-II data port is a standard feature on all modern cars, providing access to fuel, mileage and engine data. Plugging in a small $69.95 reader allows this data to be transmitted via Bluetooth to your iPhone as you drive. The app then analyzes this to log a range of data, including fuel efficiency, driving style and engine performance. The app then combines this data with GPS info and an online database to tell you the cost of every journey you make.
The hardware unit connects to a car's OBD-II Data Link Connector -- an often-overlooked data port that's been standard on every car since 1996. Through the data link, Automatic has access to fuel, mileage, and engine information, which it sends to your phone through its Bluetooth antenna. From there, the app pulls in GPS, fuel pricing, and map data to build a comprehensive picture of every drive you take. When you stop to fill up, Automatic uses geolocation data to determine which gas station you're at, then uses its own database of stations and daily prices to calculate how much you paid.http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/03/automatic-reader-800x478.png
Audio pings tell you when you are braking sharply or accelerating hard, driving behaviors that can increase gas mileage by a third. The app can also read and reset "engine check" codes, allowing you to determine whether that annoying light on your dash is something serious or trivial, and allow you to switch it off again without the need to visit a mechanic.

Automatic also includes a "crash alert" system, using the iPhone's accelerometer to detect certain types of crashes and automatically call 911 to report name, location, and vehicle description.

Automatic Link is not the first product to offer access to ODB data on iOS devices, but it does appear to offer a more complete feature set and polished user interface than has been seen on products released to date. Automatic Link launches in May, with pre-orders available now (https://www.automatic.com/order).

Article Link: 'Automatic Link' App and Bluetooth Adapter Create Connected Car for Diagnostics and Safety (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/12/automatic-link-app-and-bluetooth-adapter-create-connected-car-for-diagnostics-and-safety/)



ArtOfWarfare
Mar 12, 2013, 09:04 AM
Very interesting... There are so many warning lights on my dash that I don't know what they mean at all... $70 is more than I want to pay, but given how much it costs to fix something when it brakes, I think it might be a worthwhile purchase if I can do preventative maintance (is it actually any cheaper?) or something...

Question: how is the accessory powered? Does the OBD-II power or does the accessory have a battery? If it has a battery, how long does it last? 2 weeks? More? Less?

oneMadRssn
Mar 12, 2013, 09:07 AM
How does this one work, but every $15 bluetooth OBD2 dongle on ebay and amazon don't work with the iOS, but that work perfectly well with laptops and android devices? What is special about this one (other than it's high price)?

camnchar
Mar 12, 2013, 09:08 AM
Will it be able to diagnose engine trouble?

ArtOfWarfare
Mar 12, 2013, 09:09 AM
How does this one work, but every $15 bluetooth OBD2 dongle on ebay and amazon don't work with the iOS, but that work perfectly well with laptops and android devices? What is special about this one (other than it's high price)?

Making an accessory work with iOS involves enrolling in the MFi program and acquiring special authentication chips from Apple.

jclardy
Mar 12, 2013, 09:11 AM
Will it be able to diagnose engine trouble?

It tells you what your Check Engine light is on for, it won't tell you what that pinging sound is...

CoreForce
Mar 12, 2013, 09:11 AM
GoPoint Tech does have this adapter and iPhone app for years now, this fuel efficiency thing included.
I'm using it for quite some time now and it works like a charm. Also the GoPoint allows one to connect it with other apps like Harry's Laptimer, Optrix etc.
MacRumors could have performed better on this "news" story.

notjustjay
Mar 12, 2013, 09:16 AM
Very interesting... There are so many warning lights on my dash that I don't know what they mean at all... $70 is more than I want to pay, but given how much it costs to fix something when it brakes, I think it might be a worthwhile purchase if I can do preventative maintance (is it actually any cheaper?) or something...

Question: how is the accessory powered? Does the OBD-II power or does the accessory have a battery? If it has a battery, how long does it last? 2 weeks? More? Less?

Yes, the OBD2 port provides power when the car is running.

It would cost about the same to simply buy an OBD2 reader from an automotive tool shop. It wouldn't be as fully featured, but if all you want to know is why your check engine light is on, it's a good tool to have. Some shops will charge $25-50 just to do the diagnostic, and it could be for a reason as simple as you forgot to screw in the gas cap all the way tight.

x13gamer
Mar 12, 2013, 09:18 AM
They have had quite a few diagnostic BT adaptors for a few years. the only significant thing about this seems to be it tells you about your driving habits. It also may prove that the "safe driving snap-shot" is not for you.

oneMadRssn
Mar 12, 2013, 09:22 AM
Making an accessory work with iOS involves enrolling in the MFi program and acquiring special authentication chips from Apple.

You're saying Apple regulates bluetooth communication now too? Does every single bluetooth headset also get MFi certification? I doubt it...

Carlanga
Mar 12, 2013, 09:34 AM
You're saying Apple regulates bluetooth communication now too? Does every single bluetooth headset also get MFi certification? I doubt it...

MFi has always existed... BT headsets are the ones that work w/out being a part of the MFi. Here is the full list of the ones that don't need to pay:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3647?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Info about MFi:
http://mfi.apple.com/faqs

RexInTheCity
Mar 12, 2013, 09:55 AM
Very interesting... There are so many warning lights on my dash that I don't know what they mean at all... $70 is more than I want to pay, but given how much it costs to fix something when it brakes, I think it might be a worthwhile purchase if I can do preventative maintance (is it actually any cheaper?) or something...

Question: how is the accessory powered? Does the OBD-II power or does the accessory have a battery? If it has a battery, how long does it last? 2 weeks? More? Less?

Autozone, and I assume other auto parts stores, will read your error codes for free.

Amazing Iceman
Mar 12, 2013, 09:58 AM
MFi has always existed... BT headsets are the ones that work w/out being a part of the MFi. Here is the full list of the ones that don't need to pay:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3647?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Info about MFi:
http://mfi.apple.com/faqs

MFi is basically for devices that physically connect to an Apple device or use AirPlay.
Bluetooth devices don't require it.

rshanahan
Mar 12, 2013, 10:01 AM
Looks cool, but I was reading the features on the website. I don't understand how driving 10 mph over the speed limit uses more fuel. Does it know what the speed limit is on the road you are currently driving on? I think the fuel efficiency of a vehicle depends on it's design, not how much over/under the speed limit you are driving. I knock off a point for that comment on their site.

Along the fuel efficiency 'alarms' (braking too fast, stepping on the gas too fast), I would hope that there is some intelligence built in to the app, comparing it to the actual fuel consumption of your car relative to historical data it has gathered. We all know flooring it uses more gas, but what I'd like to know is what acceleration 'curve' is best for fuel efficiency for my car.

thacube
Mar 12, 2013, 10:02 AM
Just ordered one for myself and one for my dad

Amazing Iceman
Mar 12, 2013, 10:04 AM
Autozone, and I assume other auto parts stores, will read your error codes for free.

Not every place will do it for free.
There's more to this device than just telling you the Error codes. It also lets you reset the codes, and see other statistics and detail information about your car.
You may not be interested in doing all this, so this device may it be for you.
At $69 it doesn't t seem expensive. I thought it was going to cost more. Last time I check, about 2 years ago, the wired versions were above $150.

This is a very unobtrusive attachment that could remain plugged into your car at all times.

----------

Just ordered one for myself and one for my dad

I asked the developers if it will work with an iPad in the meantime until I get an iPhone. I don't see why not, but I'm asking to be sure.

E.Lizardo
Mar 12, 2013, 10:06 AM
Looks cool, but I was reading the features on the website. I don't understand how driving 10 mph over the speed limit uses more fuel. Does it know what the speed limit is on the road you are currently driving on? I think the fuel efficiency of a vehicle depends on it's design, not how much over/under the speed limit you are driving. I knock off a point for that comment on their site.

Along the fuel efficiency 'alarms' (braking too fast, stepping on the gas too fast), I would hope that there is some intelligence built in to the app, comparing it to the actual fuel consumption of your car relative to historical data it has gathered. We all know flooring it uses more gas, but what I'd like to know is what acceleration 'curve' is best for fuel efficiency for my car.

Are you seriously saying that fuel efficiency is not related to speed????
I hope I read that wrong!

notjustjay
Mar 12, 2013, 10:10 AM
Looks cool, but I was reading the features on the website. I don't understand how driving 10 mph over the speed limit uses more fuel. Does it know what the speed limit is on the road you are currently driving on? I think the fuel efficiency of a vehicle depends on it's design, not how much over/under the speed limit you are driving. I knock off a point for that comment on their site.

Along the fuel efficiency 'alarms' (braking too fast, stepping on the gas too fast), I would hope that there is some intelligence built in to the app, comparing it to the actual fuel consumption of your car relative to historical data it has gathered. We all know flooring it uses more gas, but what I'd like to know is what acceleration 'curve' is best for fuel efficiency for my car.

The app wouldn't know the speed limit of whatever road you are driving on, but it's pretty basic that driving too fast uses more gas than driving "normal" speed, whatever that speed happens to be for any given road.

As for the optimum acceleration curve for your particular vehicle, I imagine that would best be found by driver experimentation.

baryon
Mar 12, 2013, 10:14 AM
And where exactly can this OBD2 connector be found in a car? I don't see any sign of a port anywhere.

extricated
Mar 12, 2013, 10:16 AM
$70 is pretty minimal in relation to potential cost savings.
I'm not exactly a "shade tree mechanic", but I'm excited about the possibilities of this device.

thacube
Mar 12, 2013, 10:23 AM
I asked the developers if it will work with an iPad in the meantime until I get an iPhone. I don't see why not, but I'm asking to be sure.

according to their twitter, they say only compatible with iphone 4s and iphone 5

oneMadRssn
Mar 12, 2013, 10:25 AM
MFi is basically for devices that physically connect to an Apple device or use AirPlay.
Bluetooth devices don't require it.

MFi has always existed... BT headsets are the ones that work w/out being a part of the MFi. Here is the full list of the ones that don't need to pay:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3647?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Info about MFi:
http://mfi.apple.com/faqs

I guess this all comes from the fact that we don't know what protocol those cheap OBD2 dongles use, and what profile this one uses. To me, it seems like PAN or MAP should be able to send those ODB2 diagnostics just fine, without having to do bother with MFi.

There are ODB2 dongles that work fine with iOS, but they use Wifi and a web interface instead of bluetooth. There are even a few apps in the app store that take advantage of this. However, the system is clunky (requires manually setting IP and network info), and costly.

0815
Mar 12, 2013, 10:31 AM
Autozone, and I assume other auto parts stores, will read your error codes for free.

This does so much more than just reading the error code for you.

The true value of this package is in the software and the features they added to the app that make use of the geolocation, getting automatically the price you payed for the gas, the accident detection/emergency calls, .... etc.

It is probably not 100% innovative, nothing groundbreaking new, but it is combining many existing technologies into an easy to use package that runs in the background without you noticing it and lots of software features. (Just works, no interaction involved).

I pre-ordered one since I don't think any other competing offer has the same easy use and full feature list wrapped in a beautiful app.



There are ODB2 dongles that work fine with iOS, but they use Wifi and a web interface instead of bluetooth. There are even a few apps in the app store that take advantage of this. However, the system is clunky (requires manually setting IP and network info), and costly.

This is what sets this package apart from the others.

madsci954
Mar 12, 2013, 10:44 AM
And where exactly can this OBD2 connector be found in a car? I don't see any sign of a port anywhere.

Google "OBD2 port location" and the make/model of your car. They are usually under the steering wheel column.

notjustjay
Mar 12, 2013, 11:06 AM
And where exactly can this OBD2 connector be found in a car? I don't see any sign of a port anywhere.

Somewhere in the driver side footwell. Sometimes it's pretty visible if you put your head at the seat level and look around, other times it's partially hidden. But if your car is newer than 1996, it definitely has one. It took us a while to find it on my brother's Honda Civic, but there it was to the right of the gas pedal.

rworne
Mar 12, 2013, 11:14 AM
I'd love to know how the crash detect works. Does it look for airbag deployment?

Using only an accelerometer would be troublesome if you have to dig out your phone to cancel the 911 call after a bumper-tap or you stand on the brakes to avoid something.

Especially if it is a fender-bender and the other driver sees you messing with your phone right afterwards.

Aside from that minor concern, it is far cheaper than the $100+ a year Toyota charges for the same crash service.

I also preordered. I had a David Carchip before and it was great. This seems a better implementation because I don't have to pull it out if I want the logs.

SmileyBlast!
Mar 12, 2013, 11:31 AM
Every wannabe mechanic should have this. Great Idea! Great Product (if it works as advertised)! It could help you detect Auto Shop Repair Mechanic BS too.

The only downside is that you are going to get sticky black engine grease all over your phone now. :)

Supermacguy
Mar 12, 2013, 11:32 AM
Audio pings tell you when you are braking sharply or accelerating hard, driving behaviors that can increase gas mileage by a third.

I think you mean DECREASE gas mileage.

MacVault
Mar 12, 2013, 11:39 AM
Why no iPhone 4 support? Only 4S and 5. Does the 4 not have bluetooth?

And why no diesel support? Page mentions only gasoline.

Supermacguy
Mar 12, 2013, 11:40 AM
I don't understand how driving 10 mph over the speed limit uses more fuel.

This is oversimplifying things, but easy to understand: Cars lose fuel efficiency the faster they go primarily because of aerodynamic drag. Consider driving your car at 45 mph vs 90mph. You are using more gas at 90 because aero drag is much higher. You're hitting a wall of air all the time. At a slow speed, the drag is less. If you could somehow drive in a vacuum, then there would be little difference in driving at 45 vs 90.
Take a look at how aerodynamic a Prius is, compared to say, a Jeep. Boxy gets worse MPG.
Check out the Aero Civic (Honda). Better fuel milage by reducing drag (although there were some engine mods too)
http://www.aerocivic.com

madsci954
Mar 12, 2013, 11:41 AM
Why no iPhone 4 support? Only 4S and 5. Does the 4 not have bluetooth?

And why no diesel support? Page mentions only gasoline.

Probably needs BT 4.0, which is in the iPhone 4S and 5. The iPhone 4 only has BT 3.1.

Edit: After looking at their website description: "Using Bluetooth 4.0 technology and sophisticated energy-saving algorithms, the Automatic Link minimizes your phone's battery consumption."

rshanahan
Mar 12, 2013, 11:43 AM
Are you seriously saying that fuel efficiency is not related to speed????
I hope I read that wrong!

yup, you read that wrong. The web site says

Speeding doesn't save as much time as you might think, but driving 10 MPH over the speed limit reduces fuel efficiency by 12-15%.

So, if the speed limit is, say, 25mph, then driving 35mph uses more gas? Sure, driving 'faster' usually uses more gas, but I'm sure that it is irrelevant to the posted speed limit. They don't post speed limits based on fuel usage, they post them based on the area, road characteristics, residential, visibility, etc.

If you drive 25mph and not in your vehicles last gear then you compared to driving 35mph in your vehicles last gear (5th or 6th or whatever the highest gear is, manual or auto) I bet over time you'd get better mileage.

I just think they worded it poorly.

rshanahan
Mar 12, 2013, 11:54 AM
This is oversimplifying things, but easy to understand: Cars lose fuel efficiency the faster they go primarily because of aerodynamic drag. Consider driving your car at 45 mph vs 90mph. You are using more gas at 90 because aero drag is much higher. You're hitting a wall of air all the time. At a slow speed, the drag is less. If you could somehow drive in a vacuum, then there would be little difference in driving at 45 vs 90.
Take a look at how aerodynamic a Prius is, compared to say, a Jeep. Boxy gets worse MPG.
Check out the Aero Civic (Honda). Better fuel milage by reducing drag (although there were some engine mods too)
http://www.aerocivic.com

I am not questioning the fact that faster driving uses more fuel, I am questioning the wording on their web site, saying driving 10 miles OVER THE SPEED LIMIT uses more fuel, which in most cases is true, but totally irrelevant to what this device and the app does.

It was just an observation.

notjustjay
Mar 12, 2013, 12:20 PM
I am not questioning the fact that faster driving uses more fuel, I am questioning the wording on their web site, saying driving 10 miles OVER THE SPEED LIMIT uses more fuel, which in most cases is true, but totally irrelevant to what this device and the app does.

It was just an observation.

You are correct, it is poorly worded. I see what you're trying to say.

I think you mean DECREASE gas mileage.

Depends on the units (and semantics). Americans use miles per gallon (mpg) so 50 mpg is better than 20 mpg, so you want to increase your numbers to save fuel.

Canada (and other metric countries, I'm sure) uses L/100 km, so 5.5 L/100km is better mileage than 12 L/100 km, so you want to decrease your mileage figure as much as possible.

In either case you are still seeking to increase your fuel economy by decreasing your fuel consumption. See? Clear as mud. :)

taxiapple
Mar 12, 2013, 12:35 PM
Very interested in this.

When I went to the order page, it asked for phone model, then car model.

I have three cars, will I need three? Is each one programmed differently.

I would think it would work on any late model car just not sure.

rworne
Mar 12, 2013, 01:24 PM
Very interested in this.

When I went to the order page, it asked for phone model, then car model.

I have three cars, will I need three? Is each one programmed differently.

I would think it would work on any late model car just not sure.

It should. I think it is a rudimentary compatibility list. If you find your car on there, you'll likely be OK.

fruitpunch.ben
Mar 12, 2013, 01:52 PM
This does so much more than just reading the error code for you.

The true value of this package is in the software and the features they added to the app that make use of the geolocation, getting automatically the price you payed for the gas, the accident detection/emergency calls, .... etc.

It is probably not 100% innovative, nothing groundbreaking new, but it is combining many existing technologies into an easy to use package that runs in the background without you noticing it and lots of software features. (Just works, no interaction involved).

I pre-ordered one since I don't think any other competing offer has the same easy use and full feature list wrapped in a beautiful app.

This is what sets this package apart from the others.

Exactly. For me (and for many iOS users I'm sure), what we love about the OS and Apple hardware is its simplicity and beauty. I love buying products that have beautiful looking apps, and avoid buying those who don't. My Jawbone Up app is a great looking one, and that actually increases its use for me. This looks like another great looking app, so the utility of the hardware is increased from other devices that do the same thing but might not have as good looking app.

EDIT: Just checked with them on Twitter, and they are only selling it in the US. I was gonna pre-order anyway and drive down and get it, but it currently doesn't support metric units, so it's useless for Canadians

Uffish Thought
Mar 12, 2013, 03:54 PM
I think this would be a "must have" device if you have teenage drivers at home :eek:

rembert
Mar 12, 2013, 03:56 PM
I'd like to see a comparison between this Automated Link solution and the GoPoint solution. Also interested to see how ELM327 devices perform in this test. What apps be used with what solution? Is the data coming from the Automated Link for instance standardized?

To have the Automated Link function as an on-board-computer is nice. But I'd also like to be able to read all errors and warnings via the OBD even when the engine light is off. This can be very valuable information when taking a second hand car for a test drive, or to check the condition of your car before a long trip with your family. The GoPoint solution does support this. What about the Automated Link solution? And the GoPoint supports older phones where Automated Link does not.

But, the GoPoint website has quieted down. Latest upate is February 2011. I've read complaints support cannot be reached etc. And, their solution is twice the price of the Automated Link one. Shipping to Europe costs $40. Automated Link does not ship to Europe yet. Anyway, we now have two Apple approved BT OBD solutions. That should supposedly do something with prices, support, features etc.

sammich
Mar 12, 2013, 04:45 PM
We might be missing something when we talk about 'driving faster uses more fuel'. If you're on a highway, where you're cruising, not stopping and speeding up constantly, then faster is better. But if you're doing city driving where it's stop and go, reaching a higher speed adds up to a higher average consumption. All this is fairly obvious, though.

However, there was this one time I had to get home in a near emergency from work. I drove my big FWD hard(er) and fast(er) into corners, accelerated hard out of them and may have pushed the speed a little over where I could. With lots of turns on the way, I still managed to reduce my avg fuel consumption. And it's a fairly thirsty car.

Jimmy James
Mar 12, 2013, 04:51 PM
Can you at least reset your check engine light?

----------

How does this one work, but every $15 bluetooth OBD2 dongle on ebay and amazon don't work with the iOS, but that work perfectly well with laptops and android devices? What is special about this one (other than it's high price)?

Software?

CoreForce
Mar 12, 2013, 04:51 PM
I'd like to see a comparison between this Automated Link solution and the GoPoint solution. Also interested to see how ELM327 devices perform in this test. What apps be used with what solution?

Using GoPoint BT with iPhone 4 (no S) and it works like a charme.
I ordered it directly from GoPoint and delivery was quite fast, even to Europe. There was an update to the firmware recently (which can be applied via BT), as well as to one of the apps that comes free with it, so I guess it is actively maintained. I've contacted support solely to express my satisfaction with the product and got fast responds with "thank you we are happy to hear that".
There is an app about fuel economy and another one about all sorts of technical parameters, significantly more than those available from ScanGauge etc. It allows you to reset engine warning light as well. You can read all sorts of error code, with text explanation.

I'm connecting it with Harry's Laptimer products, he just recently was putting this GoPoint one on the list of compatible products, explicitly. From what I read about it, he was in active contact with GoPoint dev team.
No experience with other ones. I think RevLite did not work but I might not have tested this thoroughly.

The Elm, beside of it's strangeness on the software side, was physically too large for me, it is extending too much into the foot room of my cars. This Automatic and GoPoint seem to be very similar in size, just around half the length of Elm.

I can't see the point here about BT4 stack being more energy savvy, as the phone usually will be connected to the car's power outlet anyway. Still I once had my iPhone 4 running standalone with it's stone age BT connected and it was running for hours. A SatNav app will drain it much more than this.

olowott
Mar 12, 2013, 05:00 PM
love the idea:cool:

hate the price :mad:

come on dont you know how much we have to purchase just the phone itself :rolleyes:

hchung
Mar 12, 2013, 05:44 PM
Very interesting... There are so many warning lights on my dash that I don't know what they mean at all... $70 is more than I want to pay, but given how much it costs to fix something when it brakes, I think it might be a worthwhile purchase if I can do preventative maintance (is it actually any cheaper?) or something...

Question: how is the accessory powered? Does the OBD-II power or does the accessory have a battery? If it has a battery, how long does it last? 2 weeks? More? Less?

OBD ports supply power, so I'd assume it's powered off the car.

----------

How does this one work, but every $15 bluetooth OBD2 dongle on ebay and amazon don't work with the iOS, but that work perfectly well with laptops and android devices? What is special about this one (other than it's high price)?

It uses Bluetooth LE instead of normal BT's RFCOMM. No MFI chips necessary.
Using BTLE also enables them to use multitasking hooks to allow the app to run in the background longer than most apps.

MFi is basically for devices that physically connect to an Apple device or use AirPlay.
Bluetooth devices don't require it.
No. Bluetooth devices that use RFCOMM still need an MFI chip.

hchung
Mar 12, 2013, 06:02 PM
I'd like to see a comparison between this Automated Link solution and the GoPoint solution. Also interested to see how ELM327 devices perform in this test. What apps be used with what solution? Is the data coming from the Automated Link for instance standardized?

To have the Automated Link function as an on-board-computer is nice. But I'd also like to be able to read all errors and warnings via the OBD even when the engine light is off. This can be very valuable information when taking a second hand car for a test drive, or to check the condition of your car before a long trip with your family. The GoPoint solution does support this. What about the Automated Link solution? And the GoPoint supports older phones where Automated Link does not.

But, the GoPoint website has quieted down. Latest upate is February 2011. I've read complaints support cannot be reached etc. And, their solution is twice the price of the Automated Link one. Shipping to Europe costs $40. Automated Link does not ship to Europe yet. Anyway, we now have two Apple approved BT OBD solutions. That should supposedly do something with prices, support, features etc.

What you can read from the OBD port of a car varies from car to car, but there's a baseline set of stuff.
In most cars, there are no error/warnings you can read if the check engine light is off. Because the check engine light being on is only there to tell you there's an error code to read.

If the car has CANBUS, all the fun stuff is pretty likely to be a proprietary datastream.

The ELM327 devices and this thing are likely to end up with the same hardware features.
The value add for Automatic Link is really in the software.

I have the GoPoint cable as well. I played with it for a while, but won't be using it much because 25% of the time, having it plugged in on engine start causes serious problems in my car. When I posted on GoPoint's forums asking for advice, they deleted the message. Now they don't even have a forum anymore.

hchung
Mar 12, 2013, 06:22 PM
We might be missing something when we talk about 'driving faster uses more fuel'. If you're on a highway, where you're cruising, not stopping and speeding up constantly, then faster is better. But if you're doing city driving where it's stop and go, reaching a higher speed adds up to a higher average consumption. All this is fairly obvious, though.

However, there was this one time I had to get home in a near emergency from work. I drove my big FWD hard(er) and fast(er) into corners, accelerated hard out of them and may have pushed the speed a little over where I could. With lots of turns on the way, I still managed to reduce my avg fuel consumption. And it's a fairly thirsty car.

Fuel economy is based on so many different things than what most people think about. So your story is quite believable.

Higher speed causes more drag from air, which is less efficient. But this affects some cars more than others because of the various shapes of cars.

A turbo increases efficiency. But because of the lag and how most people react to the weird power curve, they either drive it with more acceleration than necessary or they play with its "sportiness", causing more waste than gain in fuel economy.

Hybrids don't get much from highway driving. Their overall fuel economy gains are from recycling the energy normally lost in stop/go traffic.

You can't measure fuel economy from the same car too far over time, because old motor oil thickening causes losses in efficiency. So if you haven't done an oil change in a while, you might get 1-2 mpg from an oil change.

The rolling resistance of tires affects fuel economy.

The amount of wear/tear affects fuel economy calculations. More worn out tires are smaller, and can cause even a few percentage points difference in mileage calculation over time.

Bald tires in summer get better traction on good roads, causing a slight increase.

The list goes on and on.

notjustjay
Mar 12, 2013, 10:38 PM
We might be missing something when we talk about 'driving faster uses more fuel'. If you're on a highway, where you're cruising, not stopping and speeding up constantly, then faster is better

Faster (and constant) is better up until the point that the car has to work harder and harder to overcome air resistance due to higher speeds. At that point economy starts to drop again.

That differs per car. I currently drive a Subaru Forester, it is pretty much a big box on wheels. Fuel economy drops off considerably if you start going over about 70 mph.

sammich
Mar 13, 2013, 10:27 AM
Okay, when I said 'faster is better', of course there is a limit. I've found when I'm found doing urban highway drives (ie: not freeways, but multilane corridors with side roads and traffic lights) that pushing the limit is a good fuel saver. This is speed of around 70km/hr or 45mi/hr. On the FWD, there was a noticeable increase in consumption going from 110km/hr to 120.

The one thing I've really always wanted to know is (as someone already mentioned earlier in this thread) what the optimal driving behaviour is for your routes and cars.

For example, a turbo diesel: low revs don't produce a lot of power, so you rev it more to get your speedup. I wouldn't accelerate it lightly because then it spends too time with low boost. So it's fairly hard from a standing start and lifting off as you get to your speed where the low rev torque just cruises you home. (I love Turbo Diesel's btw. So. Much. Torque.)

As opposed to a petrol engine which you don't rev; constant medium throttle all the way.

Amazing Iceman
Mar 14, 2013, 09:59 AM
How does this one work, but every $15 bluetooth OBD2 dongle on ebay and amazon don't work with the iOS, but that work perfectly well with laptops and android devices? What is special about this one (other than it's high price)?

Apparently those cheaper devices include a Lite version of scanning software. For full features, you'll have to pay extra. Add all together and the price is about $70 or higher.

Also, this new adapter uses Bluetooth 4, which utilizes very little power.
I don't see any other differences.