Automatic Link’s Driving Assistant Joins the iBeacon Wave

Automatic LinkAutomatic Link is an app and gadget combination that collects data based on your driving habits and tells you how you are performing. You will be able to tell when you are braking too hard, speeding, or accelerating too fast. By altering your driving habits, you will be able to save on gas, car repairs, and peace of mind. Today, the company announced that the driving assistant gadget now supports iBeacon technology so you can get info about your driving habits.

The iBeacon software update makes it possible for users to both send and receive data from their iOS device. The update will make it possible to improve connection between your device and Automatic right at the start of your drive, making the entire trip’s data more reliable.

ibeaconAccording to the company’s blog, Automatic will be building a system for users to securely identify themselves and their cars to various connected services. For example, if you are leaving a parking garage, it may be possible for you to pay your exit fee remotely. Automatic will send a wireless signal to the gate using iBeacon. The device will automatically charge your connected credit card and open the gate so you don’t even have to roll your window down. The potential technology could work for tollbooths, repair shops, parking meters, and more.

This rollout is the first to put the iBeacon in the hands of individuals. So far, the technology has been used by retailers to send information to shoppers. The iBeacon transmitter is placed somewhere in the store and information is sent to passersby. The Automatic Link is the iBeacon so you are connected to it everywhere you go.

The possibilities of iBeacon in the car are great. Whether it will be put to use is another matter.

[Via: Macnn]

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Kennedy Brandt

    So far, the Automatic Link has been an overpriced novelty. I welcome some real improvements to its extremely limited capabilities, but based on my experience so far, I can’t foresee ever really relying on it. My 15-year old car’s optional Trip Computer is still much more useful and reliable.

    • Lory Gil

      Do you have the sensor and app? What has your experience been? Why don’t you like it? Let us know in the comments. Thanks.

      • Kennedy Brandt

        Yes, I have the ODB-II plug-in sensor and the app (one isn’t much use without the other, I don’t think). My key frustrations, most of which arise from comparison to my car’s built-in “Trip Computer”:

        • No real-time data. While driving, the app is locked into analysis mode. This is okay in an aggregate sense, but if I want to track, say, MPG efficiency between continued moderate pressure on the accelerator vs. getting up to speed more quickly and then coasting (which is where I’ve found I save most of my gas), it’s practically useless.
        • The nannyware “features” intended to discourage high acceleration or hard braking are annoying. If I’m accelerating fast, it’s because I’m trying to merge into a fast freeway from a short on-ramp. If I’m braking hard, it’s because I’m trying not to rear-end someone who just cut me off. I don’t need anything squawking at me at a time like that to tell me I’m bad.
        • Poor performance in capturing driving sessions.
        • The “Remember Where I parked” feature (which really seems more like a lucky accident that a deliberately designed feature), is useless in a multi-level parking garage and that’s the only place I ever need help remembering where I parked.
        • The error code reporting offers no logging or insight into past events, which makes it useless for troubleshooting over time.
        • At last check, my historic driving data was not accessible to me via any means — though Automatic has a lot of my information, including my VINs, residing on their servers. For this reason alone, I’ve unplugged and shelved the product.

        Compared to how much data flows through the ODB-II port, and how useful and fast my car’s built in, six-feature Trip Computer is, Automatic and its Link feel like a step backwards. I have no practical use for it.

        • Lory Gil

          Thanks a bunch for your input.