Keys/Lights/Locks notifications when leaving car

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Here's a thought on how you MIGHT be able to achieve this:

When the engine turns off, start tracking the state of the headlights, keys, and locks. As soon as the bluetooth connection is lost, if any of those states are still on, popup a notification on my phone, or emit a noise. This would mean I've walked away from the car.

Of course, add the option to disable such notifications and make them easy to dismiss or ignore (eg: noises) for when you give a friend the keys, etc.

There may be other ways to pull this off too, based on a combination of related events.

I don't know if the computer can track the state of the dome light either, but if it could, then it would be nice to notify you if it's not in off/auto when you walk away from the car.
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Dean Sofer

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Posted 4 years ago

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Amy

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I don't believe we've heard this suggestion before. Super cool idea! Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Ljuba

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We love this idea! Unfortunately, the OBD port doesn't have a standard readout for headlights, cabin lights, or locks. There are some pretty sophisticated engineering workarounds that we're looking into but that's a ways off. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Dean Sofer

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I'm slightly curious, would it be helpful to literally throw down on the table everything the OBD port CAN read and see if there are any useful status notifications that could be conceived from this?

Such as door open, or trunk open (if the engine is on and the vehicle is moving for example), etc.
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Amy

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Hi Dean,

In terms of generic (non-manufacturer specific) data available to us via the OBD-II port, it's all engine-related functions. You can see all the options in the table under "Standard PIDs" on this Wikipedia page. Just scroll down that page a little to find it.

It would be super cool if we had access to other car functions but at this point, we just don't. Now if someone could get all the car manufacturers to show us what was behind the curtain...
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Thomas Lecerf

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Did I lock my Car ?.


This Automatic product looks really interesting and I'm thinking about buying one in the future.
There is one feature that I would really LOVE to have in this :
Today, it recall where you parked. What would be great is that it recall if you closed your car ! It happens to me so many times that I park in the rush to go somewhere (restaurant, theater, ...) and when I arrived there I often myself "Did I lock my car ?". That would be so great if I could just check my phone to see if I did or not ! What do you think ?
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boogles

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This would be amazing functionality for Automatic! I'd love to have it! I know Zipcar and other car shares are plugged in to the locks and lights on their fleet. Perhaps look in to how they do it?
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Amy

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I'm guessing it requires some other piece of installed hardware. But I agree, it would be really great to have this functionality!
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xtex404

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It's kind of stupid that the CAN info isn't available in some form via OBD but I guess it really is intended mainly for emissions and engine diagnostics.

It would suck if you had to make individual modules for the different makers, but I do know some makers like Chrysler don't exactly keep their protocols secret. I suspect you'd have to create a module that plugs into one of the extra computer interface ports under the hood that them communicates back to the OBD module. Ugh. It's really too bad the car makers couldn't come up with some sort of standard that would have something like an RJ-45 port in the glove box that spoke a standard serial protocol. I guess the reason for NOT doing this is they want you to buy OnStar and all their own stuff... ah well, one could dream.

The best feature ever would be Automatic being able to let me know I left my doors unlocked. I already see a problem with that, though: I would already be walking away by the time it noticed and the Bluetooth link would probably be dead by that point. Automatic would need a cellular or data link to send those notifications, or possibly a wifi link that'd connect to your home wifi network to get internet.

Again... One could dream. Stupid car makers strike again. :)
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Dean Sofer

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My solution uses the fact that a broken bluetooth connection = you walked too far away from your car.
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Ani, Customer Care Lead

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OBD is the standard that manufacturers came up with, though you'd be surprised on how much variation and what little regulation there is once you get past the generic information they're required to provide. :) You're totally right, we would have to build different hardware for each type of car in order to support some of those features. They would also likely be dependent on a specific partnership with a manufacturer – we're not quite ready to go down that road yet. Additionally, as you mention, the Bluetooth range makes the usefulness of this potential feature quite limited.

At the moment, we're focusing our energy and resources on making a single solid product that works with as many cars as possible since 1996. This is just the beginning for us. We're definitely excited to see what roads we travel down in the future!

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