Introducing Automatic Pro

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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We’re excited to unveil Automatic Pro, our ground-up redesigned connected car adapter and app. It has dedicated 3G service to make sure your car is always connected. And uniquely from Automatic, there are no subscription fees with this cellular-connected product. 

  • With Automatic Pro’s cellular connection, you’ll always know where your car is, even if you’re not with it.

  • With Automatic Pro, Crash Alert just works - even when your phone isn't in the car. As long as Automatic Pro can get a cellular signal, and regardless of who is in the car, Crash Alert is watching out.

  • IFTTT integrations are built right into the Automatic Pro app.

  • We’re launching with the first of many data science insights built into the app.

  • You can add and customize your fuel fill-ups to keep track of when and where you filled up, and how much you spent.

Read more about it on our blog!
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Automatic Team, Official Rep

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Posted 2 years ago

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JJ Alvear

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What good is it to get the Pro? The 2nd Gen has a bunch of flaws. Also just got the 2nd Gen, can't even send it back to get the Pro. Not going to shell out $130 for a product that we don't know if it's going to work the way it should.
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thelordofruin

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I'm mostly annoyed that I was excited to find there was a new adapter that was even better, and it's Pro? Awesome! There must be a bunch of really cool stuff ON TOP OF the already awesome stuff the current adapter does!

Oh wait. The Pro adapter doesn't have all these great features that I'm using every day? Okay, well, what makes it a "Pro" then?

A 3G connection? Okay that's awesome, but what is it doing with its 3G connection that makes this adapter Pro?

Nothing yet? Well that sucks.

What features are they going to add? "This will be happening alongside brand new features that are only possible with the cellular connection of the Pro adapter."

Okay, well, when? What?
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I'm all vented out. I'm looking forward to the future of Automatic and I really hope the Pro adapter lives up to its name because I want to give you money.
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Amy

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I totally hear you both and very much appreciate your reasoned approach. Personally, I don't disagree with you. I truly wish Pro could've been Gen 2 with cellular AND a bag of chips. It just wasn't possible, though. I wish I had a better explanation I could share for why this is. I also would have liked our website to include sections for Pro and Gen 2 both so that the differences were clear to existing users. But ultimately, this didn't make sense on the business side of things since folks can no longer purchase Gen 2 from our website. The website's purpose is to market the product we're selling. That's where this community comes in and I tried hard to make sure that the FAQs for the Pro launch covered all these topics. (You'll see there's a FAQ for every Gen 2 feature that's not in Pro). 

That being said, the new app is beautifully built (speaking from a code perspective), thoughtfully considered (speaking from a design & ux perspective) and done in a way that makes many aspects sever-side which streamlines the whole process of fixes and updates so that we can develop on it much more easily than we could on the original app. The original app was initially built by a single iOS developer who hasn't been with the company in years. It was built before we knew all of the things we know now about building an app for a connected car product. It was then fixed, added to, fixed more, added to more and has become a bit of a Frankenstein with a lot of dependencies between it and all kinds of other pieces. This has made development on it slow and tedious. My point is, we should be able to bring new features into the Pro app at a faster cadence than we've been doing feature development the past year or so. Some of these will be re-done versions of things that were in Pro and some will be features that would've have been possible without a cellular connection. The first is trip tagging, as Ljuba announced yesterday
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Amy

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Oh, and good point about putting that FAQ in the "Before Buying" list. I can take care of that. 
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estmatic

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(Adding this note after writing and reading what follows. If it comes off as angry, please know that it is not meant that way. I’m a pretty happy Automatic user that is currently just a bit frustrated.)


This will be the last I say on this since
1) I realize your (this time I do mean you) hands are pretty much tied as far as what you know or can say, and
2) it’s a bit off-topic in this particular thread

I have no doubt that the Pro will only improve and will get back some, if not all, previous features. However, where does that leave us non-Pro owners? When asking about updates or feature requests the response on the forums has often been along the lines of, “patience”. Well, now what? Especially with the company paradigm shifting from “user” to “car”, if the app features weren’t updated when the Gen2 was the flagship product, honestly, what chance is there now? If you all actually, truly, plan on making updates to the non-Pro app then, fine, I’ll keep waiting patiently. If not, please just say so.

I certainly don’t now expect any big changes, but even some minor improvements would go a long way. For example, can we get some sort of indicator on the main screen that a trip has been tagged as Business? Just put a “B” on the left or a dot or... literally anything is better than having no indication. Feature parity for Android seems like too much to ask now. There’s no custom location names like on iOS (2+ years... I think I’ve been patient on that one) and no option to show a notification to tag a trip.

I’m a developer, I understand that ETAs and such just spell trouble and priorities change, etc, etc. I understand that the first pass at a problem often comes out messy, and the second (or third, or fourth...) code re-write of a core product is usually for the better. I understand that Automatic makes money by selling hardware (and I do appreciate that I don’t have to pay yet another monthly subscription). I just wish the company was a bit more forthcoming with some of that information, good or bad.

At least on the Android app it seems like there’s really only been bug fixes and tweaks for maybe a bit more than a year. Like, when did the focus switch to the Pro adapter and new app? Maybe at some point in the last few months there could have been a forum announcement, “We are shifting work to our next adapter/app, work on the current app will focus on maintenance and bug fixes”, instead of leaving existing customers just waiting and ultimately, seemingly, hanging.

About the website and Pro product information, I wouldn’t expect there to be a side-by-side comparison listing what the Pro doesn’t have, but there could be a note at the bottom of the page that says, “Existing Gen2 Owners: important note about changes between the Pro and Gen2 adapter/app”, that points to the relevant FAQ. At least *something* so that people already familiar with the previous adapters don’t feel “cheated” or “bait-and-switched” after buying the Pro. Do you lose some sales that way... maybe? Likely. But it feels more respectful of your current user base. This whole thing has just left a sour taste in my mouth for a company and product I’ve been generally happy with.



P.S. I’m adding this because I’ve already written this much, so why not continue... I asked for this 2 years ago and followed-up 8 months ago. I literally just want the option of removing the map from the Android persistent notification. I understand the need for the notification. I don’t want to remove the notification. I just want to turn off the map. There... I said it. This is a small, personal pet-peeve, and I’m possibly the only person with this request. Feel free to ignore, I will completely understand.
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Amy

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, estmatic. I appreciate that you've been a valuable customer & active community member. Also, as I think you know, I welcome productive criticism and civilized discourse. And I really appreciate your honesty. I absolutely hear you and understand your concerns. I'm still hoping to get an official update in here about the future of the original app. The folks who determine that have been swamped. But I'm here and I'm listening. 

p.s. I've passed your request on to the Android team. 
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Robert Reuscher

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Depends on what your issues are. Trip reporting failures should pretty much be eliminated now, since you don't have to have a connection between the device and your phone to upload trips. Trips get sent to the servers, even if it never connects to you phone. Then the get downloaded to the phone from the server. This also helps with event based third party integrations, except for third part streaming applications.
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Shawn Powers

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I have (3) Automatic units, but with multiple users and multiple drivers, the data has been mostly useless. Will the new Automatic Pro allow multiple users with multiple shared vehicles to share a single account?

The Automatic Pro has 5 years of 3G data, I'm curious what happens after 5 years.

Lastly, does the Automatic Pro have built in GPS? Otherwise, without a phone (ie, someone borrows car), how does it have location information?
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Amy

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You win. ;)  Or, maybe I should say, Amazon wins. :)
(Edited)
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Amy

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Although we do take Bitcoin. Or at least I know we did. But yeah, can't match their discount code. 
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Shawn Powers

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If you take Bitcoin, I'll buy from you. I only saw Paypal and AmazonPayments. :)
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Amy

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I'm checking on this. 
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Shawn Powers

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For what it's worth, I decided to order anyway, and during the process, Bitcoin appeared as an option. 3 are on the way! :)
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Dayton Ireland

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Does the new Automatic Pro work with vehicles like the Chevy Volt?

If not, it's just as worthless as the last version.
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Amy

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Sorry, Dayton. Automatic is still not supported on electric vehicles. 
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Scott Lewis

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That's not what your Car Compatibility page says. If I plug in 2016 Chevrolet Volt I get "Your vehicle is supported!"
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Tummy

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I'm disappointed it doesn't work with EVs. I preordered the gen 1 even before they started shipping and loved the functionality on our gas cars. We moved on to two BMW i3 two years ago so no more data logging. The closest competitor for ev tracking is not even in the same league.
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variable

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So does the Pro version NOT have bluetooth? I can't really see the Pro being as useful if it only uses 3g - especially since the data I'd want to be able to see on my phone might be something in realitime, boost psi, rpm, whatever else is supported etc.
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Jennifer, Alum

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Hi, variable. Robert is right! (Thanks, Robert!) Automatic Pro has Bluetooth along with a built-in GPS in addition to 3G. In terms of streaming apps that are currently available for Automatic Pro, check out this FAQ.
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Robert Reuscher

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The promised multi device support finally works now too (maybe this was mentioned somewhere else but I've not seen it) you can connect another iPhone to the second Bluetooth connection for streaming apps and run Fusion (what i have so that's all I've tested) on it. On my primary device I run automatics but run Waze when driving for its maps and road updates (or Pokemon Go if hunting), on an older iPhone I run OBD Fusion to see its data while driving) need to try my iPad for the larger display if Fusion does something with that.

Getting it running is no squirrlier than get Fusion to run on the main device, but it's nice to finally be able to do this. Fusion and Waze at the same time.
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Robert Reuscher

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It still has Bluetooth, and works with OBD Fusion (and probably others, but that's the one I have). Getting the connection started to Fusion is still squirrelly but once it you get the too talking Fusion works great. 
Is there special discount upgrade pricing for Gen 2 owners? Trade in? etc.
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Jennifer, Alum

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Hi, Joel! Robert is correct. (Thanks again, Robert) We do not have an upgrade or exchange program for Automatic Pro.
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Robert Reuscher

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No

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