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Automatic's new car adapter uses 3G without a subscription

You can quantify your driving without a monthly bill.
Roberto Baldwin, @strngwys
August 17, 2016
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Automatic makes devices that track your driving style and trips, quantifying that information for you in a companion app. These gadgets also do thing like tell you why your check engine light is on before you pay a few hundred dollars to a mechanic. Today the company announced its latest-gen adapter, the Automatic Pro. The $130 dongle has an unlimited, no subscription 3G connection -- a departure from previous models that used your phone's Bluetooth connection to talk to the company's servers.

The new always-connected adapter also comes with a new companion app. In addition to fancy new animations while a car is driving, it also has customizable notifications, deeper integration with online scripting service IFTTT (If This Then That). The new application only works with the Automatic Pro. Owners of the first and second generation adapters will continue to use the legacy app.

Getting the company's adapters on a cellular network without charging customers a subscription has been part of Automatic's plan since day one. "People don't want another subscription," Automatic Co-Founder Ljuba Miljkovic said. "We knew we always wanted to go cellular because of all the benefits of cellular. Now it's an exciting time because we're finally able to do that."

So whether you want to track your trips, quantify your driving style, or just be able to figure out why your check engine light is on, the new Automatic Pro now does it even when you're not in the car.

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