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Press Releases

May 19, 2015 8:00 AM PST

Automatic Unveils the Future of the Connected Car with Launch of New Car App Gallery and Open Developer Platform

YCombinator Alumnus Paves Way for the Next Wave of Innovation in Mobile Devices, Opens a World of Apps to Nearly Every Car on the Road

San Francisco, CA – May 19, 2015: Automatic, the company bringing the power of the internet into every car on the road, today announced the launch of the Automatic App Gallery, an app store for nearly every car on the road today, as well as an open development platform to fuel a rapidly growing ecosystem of car apps. The company also unveiled their second-generation Automatic car adapter, which enables third party “Bluetooth streaming” apps that display data from the car’s onboard computer in real-time. The Automatic App Gallery features over 20 third party apps at launch including Jawbone, IFTTT, DashCommand, Concur, Expensify, Xero, YourMechanic, Harry’s LapTimer, RescueTime and SherpaShare, with many more to come.

“The next wave of connected devices poised to change the world are those we’ve been using for decades: our cars,” said Thejo Kote, Founder and CEO of Automatic. “Just as the iPhone App Store unlocked the power of the smartphone, we’ve built an open platform that makes it possible for the world’s best developers to build amazing apps for your car.”

Two years ago Automatic launched a mobile app and matchbox-sized car adapter, which plugs into the standard diagnostics port, to connect just about any car since 1996 to the internet. The product addressed the top needs of most drivers: fuel economy, engine diagnostics, and free emergency services. This was the first step towards realizing the vision that software and connectivity could help every car live up to its potential.

Today, Automatic is expanding what just about any car can do with the launch of the Automatic App Gallery, which features third party car apps for many different kinds of drivers. Built using the Automatic Developer Platform, these apps let cars instantly reach an entirely new level of intelligence and utility by tapping into the powerful computer hidden under the hood.

By plugging the Automatic car adapter into their vehicle, users can now connect to a thriving ecosystem of car apps that enhance nearly every imaginable aspect of car ownership, for instance:

  • Heating up your home in time for your arrival from work with the Nest Thermostat
  • Automatically logging your business mileage and expensing it with popular services like Concur and Expensify
  • Helping parents make sure their teens are driving safe with License+, and much more

“Across companies of every shape and size, business mileage represents one of the highest-volume categories of expenses made by their employees,” said Ryan Schaffer, Director of Marketing and Strategy at Expensify. “The Automatic platform is such a natural fit for Expensify. When we heard about Automatic’s App Gallery and Developer Platform, we were excited about the opportunity to enable a hassle-free business mileage experience for our users.”

The Automatic Developer Platform makes it easy for developers to build and distribute car apps powered by the data available in cars. Apps built on this platform seamlessly integrate with the vast majority of the hundreds of millions of vehicles on the road today, so developers can build car apps that work across nearly every make and modele.

About Automatic

Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing Automatic’s award-winning connected car adapter and apps for iPhone, Android, and web, drivers are able to enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform. Automatic helps customers drive safer and smarter—with applications that diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency response, and help customers save money on driving. Automatic is available for sale at Best Buy, Amazon and Apple.com for $99.95 with no ongoing service fees. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011, and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.automatic.com.

Press Contacts for Automatic

Tatiana De Almeida
(415) 520-8831
press@automatic.com

January 12, 2015 9:30 AM PST

Automatic Introduces ‘Works with Nest’ Integration

Latest integration expands possibilities for the connected car platform

San Francisco, CA—January 12, 2015—Automatic Labs Inc. today announced that the company’s Connected Car Adapter now works with Nest. The integration allows customers to create rules that can automatically adjust the Nest Learning Thermostat™ based on vehicle activity. Basic rules can wake the thermostat up to Home mode or set it to the energy-saving Away mode. More powerfully, it can also track the car’s progress towards home, so you can start warming up or cooling down your home before you arrive.

The Nest Thermostat is an Internet-connected thermostat that remembers what temperatures you like, creates a custom schedule for your home, and turns itself down when you’re away. The Automatic Connected Car Adapter pairs with its companion smartphone app to unlock the data from a vehicle’s on-board computer. This data powers Automatic’s own driving assistant app and allows other connected services—like the Works With Nest integration—to be built around the car via Automatic’s APIs.

How the integration works

The integration boasts powerful filters for location, time of day, and days of week — which allows rules to be created that could apply, for instance, only when the car turns on weekdays between 4-7pm near your office.

Last year, Mercedes introduced a “Works with Nest” integration for some of its models that have built-in connectivity. This new integration between Nest and Automatic marks the first time that this powerful connection is accessible to owners of nearly all car makes. Automatic (and the Nest integration) works with most cars in the US made since 1996. Compatibility can be checked at automatic.com/cars.

Consumer Comfort, Convenience and Savings

The Automatic integration offers customers a chance to maximize potential savings through intelligently chosen rules that give the Nest thermostat a more timely understanding of when heating or cooling is needed — and when it’s not needed.

“At Automatic, we’ve focused on saving people money from the very start with our fuel-efficiency coaching, which has saved many users hundreds per year on fuel costs. Now we’re thrilled to extend the connected car’s benefits into people’s homes, to make life more automated, convenient, and efficient,” said Thejo Kote, CEO of Automatic. “The home and car are people’s two most expensive budget items. The Automatic and Nest platforms now work together to make those less of a burden in every way we can.”

Automatic Platform Story Unfolds

This integration is one more step in Automatic’s strategy to connect cars to the wider world of apps and services. Already, official integrations have been built on Automatic for Jawbone, IFTTT, Ford Sync, and SpotAngels—a street parking rules notifier for San Francisco—among others, as well as hundreds of solo developer projects. Many more brand name services will be unveiling Automatic integrations in 2015. “We hope this Nest integration opens imaginations to the possibilities of the connected car and how far-reaching its benefits can be,” Kote added.

More information about the Automatic Works With Nest integration is available at automatic.com/nest, including a link to the Control Panel application.

About Automatic

Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing Automatic’s smartphone app and in-car device, drivers are able to enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform. Automatic helps customers drive safer and smarter‐with applications that diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency response, and help customers save money on driving. Developers, meanwhile, can use the Automatic platform to build services and applications that use car driving data with interoperable access possible to nearly every car type on the road. Automatic is available for sale at Apple Stores, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, and direct on their own site for $99.95 with no ongoing service fees. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011, and headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.automatic.com.

Contacts

press@automatic.com

October 27, 2014 9:00 AM PDT

Smart from the Start: Automatic Launches License+ to Unite Parents and Teens in Pursuit of Safer Driving

Newest service helps teens master skills with the support of a coach

San Francisco, CA—October 27, 2014—Automatic Labs, the company that helps people drive safer and smarter, today announced License+, a service to help teens master driving skills with the support of a coach. Built on Automatic’s connected car platform, License+ is a novel approach to a longstanding concern: how to provide teens with encouragement and room to learn while providing parents with tools for communication and ensuring their loved ones are safe.

Automatic’s award-winning connected car adapter and mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and web help keep teens safe throughout their early driving years, with features that detect accidents and send emergency response, provide driving feedback, and help diagnose engine problems. All of these features come with no recurring fees.

Released today as a free update to the Automatic app for iPhone and Android, License+ is an additional way to keep teens safe by helping them master good driving skills. Teens use the app to track their own performance through a 100-driving-hour program. A coach, typically a parent, can review and discuss overall progress with the new driver during the program.

“We believe parents want to prepare their teens for the road ahead while respecting their freedom and privacy,” said Automatic CEO Thejo Kote. “License+ brings parents and teens together to improve the teen’s skills — especially during the most dangerous first six months of independent driving — while fostering mutual communication and trust.”

License+ allows parents to see high-level information on the Automatic web dashboard:

  • The teen’s drive score
  • The teen’s progress through the 100-hour program
  • Driving events like hard brakes, hard accelerations, and speeding over 70 mph
  • Cities visited

“Unlike typical tracking and monitoring products, which can erode the hard-earned trust between parents and teens, License+ works through coaching, communication, and a bit of fun,” said License+ lead Steve Bishop. “We wanted new drivers to be able to demonstrate their progress, so we created features like badges that reward them when they master important skills like night time or highway driving.”

At the end of the 100 hours, the driver earns a bronze, silver, or gold medal of completion based on their drive score throughout the program.

With License+, emergency crash response, audio driving feedback, and check engine light diagnosis, Automatic offers a broad array of tools to help teens keep safe on the road.

License+, like all Automatic features, requires the Automatic car adapter be plugged into the standard diagnostic port of a supported vehicle to connect car and smartphone through Automatic’s mobile app.

About Automatic

Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing Automatic’s award-winning connected car adapter and app for iPhone, Android, and web, drivers are able to enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform. Automatic helps customers drive safer and smarter — with applications that diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency response, and help customers save money on driving. Automatic is available for sale at Apple Stores, Best Buy, and Amazon for $99.95 with no ongoing service fees. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011, and is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.automatic.com.

Contacts

Gabriela Ruano
(415) 882-8828
press@automatic.com

September 16, 2014 0:00 AM EST

Ford and Automatic Working Together to Support Connected-Car Solutions

Automatic platform will be enhanced to work better with millions of Ford vehicles to provide new and better connected solutions

San Francisco, CA and Dearborn, MI—September 16, 2014—Automatic Labs and Ford Motor Company today announced a joint experimental collaboration to improve the driving experience for Ford & Lincoln vehicle owners. Together, the companies will test and develop new features that provide enhanced capabilities to Ford and Lincoln vehicle owners, enabling drivers to opt-in to provide data from their vehicle and use that information to be smarter, safer drivers.

Ford SYNC® already allows drivers to make calls, listen to music and get directions with an optional navigation feature through the touch of a button on the steering wheel—all while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Existing technology from Automatic uses a small device and a mobile app to connect a driver’s smartphone to his or her vehicle’s onboard computer. Customers will be given the option to opt-in to Automatic, which will provide data that can help remember where the vehicle is parked and more.

While Automatic’s device has been available in Apple and Best Buy stores since last year, this is the first time the company has teamed up with an auto manufacturer to experiment with its in-vehicle entertainment and communications system.

“Ford’s powerful in-car technology makes working with Ford highly valuable for us,” said Automatic CEO Thejo Kote. “Ford’s interface—coupled with Automatic’s connected services platform—enables us to bring customized one-touch applications to Ford drivers that go beyond the capabilities of either technology on its own.”

The first of several features available to drivers who use Automatic in supported Ford SYNC-equipped vehicles will make Apple’s Siri personal assistant application accessible on Apple iPhone through the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel. This means drivers will not have to reach for their iPhone while operating their vehicle, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

In addition, Automatic will provide greater convenience to drivers by connecting the push-to-talk button to the “Internet of Things,” enabling access to the popular If This Then That, or IFTTT, web service, which automates actions using the Internet. This allows drivers to use the push-to-talk button to trigger an IFTTT recipe from among hundreds in the web service library. IFTTT recipes range from sending messages to remotely operating home appliances. Users will be able to create their own recipes as well. Automatic will launch additional connected-car enhancements in the coming months.

“Ford is always looking for new ways, including working with other innovative companies, to improve our customers’ experience,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services at Ford. “Teaming up with Automatic was the natural choice given their connected car technology and focus on enhancing the driving experience.”

Ford vehicles supported by Automatic’s technology include the 2011-2015 Ford Explorer, 2013-2015 Ford Flex, 2011-2014 Ford F-150, 2011-2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty and 2013-2015 Ford Taurus. Supported Lincoln vehicles include the 2013-2015 Lincoln MKS, 2013-2015 Lincoln MKT, 2011-2014 Lincoln MKX and the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. Ford and Automatic encourage drivers not to drive while distracted.

“Automatic exists to help people drive safer and smarter,” said Kote. “We’re thrilled to be working with Ford to improve the overall driving experience by connecting our shared customers and their cars to the Internet.”

The new Ford Automatic integration will be available by downloading the latest version of the Automatic iOS app in coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.automatic.com/ford.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

About Automatic

Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing Automatic’s smartphone app and in-car device, drivers are able to enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform. Automatic helps customers drive safer and smarter—with applications that diagnose engine trouble, detect accidents and send emergency response, and help customers save money on driving. Automatic is available for sale at Apple Stores, Best Buy, and Amazon for $99.95 with no ongoing service fees. Automatic Labs was founded in 2011, and headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.automatic.com.

Contacts

Linden Kohtz Garcia
(415) 882-8812
press@automatic.com

Ford Motor Company
Susannah Wesley
(313) 580-2130
swesley8@ford.com

October 23, 2013 08:00 EDT

Automatic, Your Smart Driving Assistant, Now Available in All US Apple Retail Stores, Apple Online

Innovative Gadget Connects Your Car to Your Smartphone, Makes Driving Smarter

San Francisco, CA—October 23, 2013—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Automatic Labs (automatic.com), today announced the availability of Automatic: Your Smart Driving Assistant in more than 250 Apple retail stores nationwide and on the Apple Online Store.

Automatic is an iPhone app that pairs with a tiny piece of intelligent hardware called the Automatic Link that connects your iPhone to your car’s onboard computer when you drive. Automatic is a Smart Driving Assistant. It helps drivers adjust their driving habits to save gas, decode and clear their car’s “check engine” light, and remember where they parked. It can detect a serious crash and automatically call for help and alert loved ones, all without a subscription fee.

“Apple sets a high bar for the quality of products they carry in their stores. We’re thrilled to make Automatic available to the millions of people who trust Apple to curate beautiful and easy to use products,” said Thejo Kote, Automatic’s CEO and co-founder.

Since its announcement in March 2013, Automatic has earned rave reviews and awards—from Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards to the ITS America Smart Solution Spotlight award. The Automatic Link retails for $99.95. The Automatic app and service are free.

Works in nearly all cars in the US since 1996

The Automatic Link plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBDII) port without any tools. The port is usually located below the steering wheel by the foot pedals. Check if your car is compatible at automatic.com/cars.

iPhone Support

Automatic is compatible with the iPhone 4S and newer models (5, 5C, 5S).

About Automatic

Automatic is a technology startup focused on making high-end connected car features available to everybody. Based in San Francisco, the company was founded in early 2012 by a group of experts in transportation systems, human-computer interaction and design who met as graduate students at UC Berkeley. Automatic is a Y-Combinator company with investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and others. For more information, visit automatic.com.

Images and video of the product can be downloaded at automatic.com/press/.

Contacts

for Automatic Labs
Linden Kohtz Garcia, 415-882-8812
press@automatic.com

March 12, 2013 08:00 EDT

Automatic Launches Innovative Smart Driving Assistant that Connects Your Car to Your iPhone

Helps Consumers Save Money, Drive Smarter and Understand What’s Happening Under the Hood

San Francisco, CA—March 12, 2013—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Automatic (automatic.com) today, launched an iPhone app and a tiny piece of intelligent hardware called the Automatic Link that connects your iPhone to your car’s onboard computer when you drive. Automatic is a smart driving assistant that helps you save gas, drive safer and understand what’s happening under the hood. It also remembers where you parked and can automatically call for help in a crash. The Automatic Link retails for $69.95 and is available for pre-order at automatic.com today, shipping in May. The Automatic app and service are free.

Cars are the second largest expense in our lives, with the average American family spending more than $8,000 on their car every yeari. Studies have shown that with small adjustment to driving habits, consumers can save up to 35ii percent per year on gas. Automatic makes it possible for consumers to gain valuable insight into how they drive and learn how to make small changes to their driving habits that can have a big impact on fuel efficiency.

“Smartphones and the internet have transformed our day-to-day lives, but our cars and how we drive them have been left behind. We’re focused on changing that,” said Thejo Kote, chief executive officer and co-founder of Automatic. “We believe that the smartphone can, in effect, upgrade millions of cars on the road today, and offer drivers features only available in high-end cars with expensive service plans.”

Automatic’s Key Features and Benefits:
  • Your Drive Score: Automatic gives you personalized feedback on your driving with your weekly drive score on a scale from 0-100. The drive score is based on metrics shown to increase fuel efficiency and safety, like braking and accelerating smoothly. A high score could save you hundreds on gas every year.
  • Your Trips in a Timeline: The Automatic app displays detailed information about where you go and how much gas it cost to get there. It shows you the actual MPGs you achieve for all your trips, even for older cars that don’t display fuel efficiency on the dashboard.
  • Parking Reminders: Automatic always knows where you parked your car, helping you find it again easily.
  • Crash Alert: If you’re ever in a crash, Automatic alerts emergency services with your location. It can even contact your loved ones to let them know what happened and that help is on the way.
  • Keep Your Engine Healthy: Automatic connects with your car’s computer whenever you drive and can tell you why that “check engine” light came on. It can decode the problem and in many cases offer a solution. The app even lets you clear the light yourself and save a trip to the mechanic.

“We designed Automatic to be affordable and work effortlessly. There’s no data to input manually or subscription to pay. After the initial set-up, all you have to do is bring your phone with you when you drive and everything works, well, automatically,” said Ljuba Miljkovic, chief product officer at Automatic.

How Automatic Works - Three Easy Steps:
  1. Download the Automatic App: Open the App Store app on your iPhone and download the Automatic app for free. Available once the Automatic Link ships in May.
  2. Plug-in the Automatic Link: Automatic is simple to use in your car. Just plug the Automatic Link into your car’s onboard diagnostics port, available on all cars sold in the US since 1996. The port is usually located below the steering wheel by the foot pedals. The Automatic app guides you through this process.
  3. Start Driving: After setup, the Automatic Link seamlessly connects to the iPhone app via Bluetooth wireless whenever you drive—the Automatic app need not even be open for it to work. Automatic is currently compatible with the iPhone 4S and 5.

Images and a video of the product can be downloaded at: automatic.com/press/materials. For more information, visit automatic.com.

About Automatic

Automatic is a technology startup focused on making high-end connected car features available to everybody. We’ve built an iPhone app that pairs with a tiny piece of intelligent hardware called the Automatic Link and saves people money on gas and service expenses, while making driving safer and more convenient. Based in San Francisco, the company was founded in early 2012 by a group of experts in transportation systems and human-computer interaction and design who met as graduate students at UC Berkeley. Automatic is a Y-Combinator company with investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, and others. For more information, visit automatic.com.

i Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2011 Consumer Expenditure Survey, http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxann11.pdf

ii U.S. Department of Energy Study, http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drivehabits.shtml

Contacts

H3O Communications
Linden Kohtz Garcia, 415-882-8812
press@automatic.com