Launch of 'Automatic Link' Smart Driving Assistant Further Delayed

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Automatic today sent out an update email to customers eagerly awaiting one of its Link connected car systems, announcing that the public release date of the product has been pushed back yet again.

    In the email, Automatic says that despite shipping a number of test units to customers who volunteered for a private beta, production delays have prevented them from shipping additional devices to beta customers who have yet to receive a Link.
    Beta customers were originally supposed to receive both the Link and the accompanying app in mid-June, but the company now expects the remaining Links to ship out by late August.

    The Automatic Smart Driving Assistant can currently be preordered from the Automatic website for $69.95. Automatic claims that the Link and iPhone app will begin shipping out to standard customers in September and in the meantime, MacRumors has posted a hands-on look at the device and its accompanying app.

    (Thanks, John!)

    Article Link: Launch of 'Automatic Link' Smart Driving Assistant Further Delayed
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2013
    4 8 15 16 23 42 ✈ Country: Belgium
  3. macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2007
    I JUST got a tracking number yesterday. Thank goodness mine shipped before the delay...
  4. macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2004
    Got my beta testing unit a few days ago, and I'm loving it so far. I thought there might be more engine and process-monitoring features, but no complaints. Works perfectly. I especially like that it remembers where I parked, and actively tracks mileage.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    I REALLY wanted one of these things. So much so that I passed up a $40 OBDII scanner. I'm second-guessing my choice now... Shame. This thing has such promise.
  6. apunkrockmonk, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Ordered 3/13/13.

    I haven't received a tracking number or anything yet.

    Edit: I received mine in the mail yesterday, it's pretty neat so far.

    I'm excited for when the application is out of beta and is closer to feature complete.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Just curious: Will this product store any of your private data (such as the streets and locations you drove to) on a server?

    Does PRISM have any possible way of collecting someone's personal data (such as where they were driving) if he used Automatic?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2010
    Shame about the delays, im sure they can work this out quickly. Cannot wait for this to launch in the U.K.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2010
    here and there
    Love the Automatic Link

    I have mine now since 1 week. It works great for me.

    The only thing I am seeing is that the app is sucking the batter on my iPhone, which runs iOS 7.0. Don't know how it behaves on iOS 6.x, but they mention some problems with iOS 7.0 and recommend not using it yet

    --> guess thats what I get when I run a beta device with beta software on an beta operating system

    ... but they still have time to fix it for the official iOS 7.0 release

    I love the Automatic Link and the app is really nice.


    I think they mention somewhere on their blog that they are looking into adding this and more statistics and real time data in a future version


    PRISM knows everything, PRISM can do anything, PRISM knows you are posting here about it ... the only thing you can do to be save is to hide in a cave with no electricity and no contact to the outside world.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    This device also doubles as a Nintendo 64 memory pack.
  11. macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2009
    Another problem I found with this device...many cars have covers that hide the port beneath the steering column. By putting this device in, you can't actual replace said cover (usually includes fuses etc. next to the port), so you get this ugly mess below the wheel.

    A nice idea though, and the above problem isn't the same for all cars.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2003
    San Francisco
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2007
    I don't understand why this thing is so hyped- aren't there a dozen or so Wifi-enabled or bluetooth enabled odb-II dongles that work with any app, not just the one Automatic makes?
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
  15. macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
    I think it's the ease of use and software paired with it. It's not the first and it's not claiming to be the first. It's the first, good looking, adapter.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2006
    The scary part is you're absolutely right.
  17. macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2005
    British Columbia
    I agree with you, and most new vehicles have all of the features of this device built in to the dash computer.

    Pretty hard to find a new vehicle without a screen in the dash these days, this product has peaked before it has even shipped.
  18. macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    Here's the thing - who cares about the OBD device from a privacy standpoint. Your car has license plates - and with the vast array of cameras out there, you already have been tracked.

    By chance, do you have a cellphone on you? Who cares about your cars info - they can just track that and extrapolate everything else. Anyone remember when it was discovered that iTunes had logged iPhone data. You could see a map of everywhere you had been - which I found quite depressing. (98% home-work-home travel) Sure, that data may not be as easily accessible to you or I now - but it's still generated every day - and I'm sure someone can still see it.

    Or is your fuel economy that sensitive? I think that's all the additional information they'll get from this device... ;)
  19. macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2013
    Niko, is that you?


    It's pretty easy to find a Honda Accord. Most new cars I've seen don't even tell you what your fuel consumption is.


    I kinda want one of these, but I think I'd rather get a simpler one. This thing is impressive. I heard $18 earlier for a cheap one.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2009
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    You got my second one :)

    I had ordered two originally. Got in on beta and have been using the first one. After testing the first unit, I decided I did not want to have a second one so I canceled the second unit.
  21. macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    2013 Accord?


    I haven't seen any modern vehicle, bar extremely basic models, without a multifunction instrument cluster display.
  22. macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2012
    There are insurance companies offering devices like this one.

    They will know if you speed or do anything that is "bad" while operating the vehicle.
  23. macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2009

    They're working on a way to somehow adopt a freemium model.
  24. macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    I don't see the hype for this. I've been doing everything this does and MUCH more for years using a Bluetooth OBD-II dongle for $15 and my iPhone. Works much better, tracks much more, and it's been available.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    Beta Tester - Would not recommend

    I've had my Automatic for a few weeks now. I enjoy being an early tech adopter and checking out new gadgets. I'm not uber-critical like many of the thread-posters, but I will say this is 70 bucks that I'd like to have back.

    The UI is clean and has some nice little touches (I'm not sure if it customized to each user/vehicle, but there's a little car that "drives" up and down the screen as you scroll from trip to trip. The one in my app looks just like my white Accord - not sure if that's coincidence or a cool little detail.)

    The issues:
    The link will randomly not connect to the app.

    The map/parking location feature is weak at best. Sure, it may get you in a general vicinity, but if you were at an airport or a mall, especially an area with parking decks, it's of very little use. Also, there is no way to turn on satellite view in the map, making it even more difficult to determine where your vehicle is. It's also completely inaccurate at times. Earlier this week, I left work and drove about miles before stopping for gas. When I pulled up the app (as I was standing next to my car pumping gas into it), it showed that my car was still in my work parking lot.

    This morning on my way into work, the check engine light came on. Although that's typically a bad thing, I was actually excited to get some use out of Automatic to see what was going on. I pull up the app, and it doesn't even register that my light is on. What a complete joke, that's one of the most enticing features of the app.

    This product is just a novelty. I would not recommend buying it.

    However, in response to the rather ignorant posters that made comments about all new car having these features built in. Yeah, they do. But what's more financially reasonable, going out and buying a new car in order to get these features, or $70 for a device that is supposed to add the features that an older model car doesn't have?

    In addition, not knowing the full technical output capabilities of the OBD II ports, I would think that the device could give you more information. I was hoping that it would serve as a dashboard for all data about my car, mileage, miles to empty, actual mpg while driving, etc.

    Finally, another poster's comment on another thread about Automatic is very true. You know how you drive. No little "link" beeping at you is going to keep you from going over 70 mph (which is a joke anyway, bc a set speed limit does not mean reduced fuel efficiency for every single vehicle. 70 mph is vastly different for my 4 cyl Accord than a 8 cyl Audi) or driving aggressively and hard-breaking.

    Also, the there is no emergency call feature in the Beta app, but out of fairness, that was made know before we elected to join the Beta program.

    Overall, interesting concept, decent UI, poor execution - ultimately of very little actual use.

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