Automatic to shut down and end support for its car diagnostics dongle

The service will no longer be available as of May 28th.


Automatic, the company behind an on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) dongle for cars, announced that it’s shutting down due to COVID-19. The company says customers can toss (or recycle) its adapters, which plugged into vehicles and synced with users’ smartphones to provide data on things like real-time location, trip history and vehicle diagnostics. The dongles and the app will no longer be available as of May 28th at 12PM PT.

In a statement on its website, Automatic wrote:

“Just like many other companies in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our business. With fewer consumers purchasing and leasing vehicles and drivers on the road, we unfortunately do not see a path forward for our business. These are unprecedented times, and with so much uncertainty ahead, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Automatic connected car product, service and platform.”

Automatic introduced its first-generation device, Automatic Link, in 2013. The $100 dongle could track trips and fuel automatically, but the diagnostics were a bit limited. A couple years later, Automatic unveiled a second-generation adapter and launched an app store. Last spring, the company upset some when it announced that it would no longer support its first- and second-generation adapters and that it would render their apps useless.

While we’ve seen some companies delay new products (like the Hummer EV) or scrap them altogether (iRobot’s robotic lawn mower) due to COVID-19, we haven’t seen as many companies shut down completely. Though, as the pandemic continues and the shockwaves of its economic impact hit, we will likely see more shutter.

If you’ve been logging into third-party apps with Automatic, you’ll still be able to do so until June 28th. Automatic users with a connected PayTollo account will receive instructions from PayTollo.