Every once in awhile you run into a product that is just plain cool and very functional. For me this product is the Automatic – Driving Assistant. It comes with a device that you plug into the OBD port in your car and an app that communicates with the device via Bluetooth 4.0 (IOS, Android).
Once you figure out where the OBD port is in your car, (which can be a challenge as mine was underneath the dashboard on the drivers side), all you do is plug it in, and run the app. You create an account and follow a few on-screen instructions and you are good to go. It reads most of the information from your car such as the VIN number, make, and model.
The main screen is pretty straight forward and tells you a summary of what has happened during the week such as total miles driven, cost, average MPG, and total time in the car. Should you have any issues with the car, it will also display the errors on your phone so you know what is going on (hopefully we will not need this too much).
This is where things get pretty cool. The trip screen will show you every segment of your trip such as going from work, to the store, then home and give you the cost and detail of each. Cost is derived from the average cost of gas in your area so it may not be 100% but it is pretty close from what I have seen. In addition as you are driving the unit will beep on you when you brake too hard, accelerate too fast, or drive above 70 miles per hour.
This is another area I think is pretty cool. In the next month or so (November time frame) they will have an update that will dial 911 as well as your designated contact in the event of a major accident, a feature that is typically left to higher end cars with annual fees.
For about $99 I think this is a great device. If you actually use the information it provides, you might actually save a bit of money. In reality, the biggest thing about this device is the upcoming features such as the emergency assist and additional functionality that the app will provide. I have been using this for almost a month now and I still find it useful and I look forward to getting a few more for members of my family.