Real-Time Data

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  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Implemented
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It would be neat sometime down the road to add an extra function to the Automatic App for live engine statistics (ie. temperature sensors, rpm etc.) like the higher end OBDII scanners have. It would be nice if this feature was added to be able to record real-time data to detect problems. I've got an OBDII that shows real-time data, but it's a hassle to have it plugged in and a wire running over your lap while driving so it can record a driving session.
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Posted 5 years ago

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Official Response
I just changed this topic's status to "planned" and wanted to explain what we mean by that. Automatic's primary purpose is to give people insight into their driving and help them make changes that can save them money, make them safer, and make driving more fun. Currently, Automatic uses real-time audio feedback while you drive and visual feedback on the phone post-trip. We're looking into ways to improve the experience by providing real-time visual feedback on the phone's screen too. There are lots of specific suggestions in here and of course we can't implement all of them, but rest assured real-time visual feedback on the phone is a planned feature.
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Official Response
Thanks everyone for your passionate feedback about the need to easily access the information that the Automatic app gives you. We agree that it would be really useful! You can now access the data and build amazing apps with the Automatic API. While an API has always been on the roadmap, we expedited its development following the feedback from all of you.

You can find more information about how you can start using the API at the end of this post, but here are some important things you should know about the API.

  • It's currently in alpha, so we'd appreciate your patience as you use it to build your apps. We decided that we'd rather get it to you earlier and iron out the kinks over time instead of making you wait longer.

  • Again, this is in alpha so things could change that may break your app.
    If this scares you, you should wait until we have things more stable
    before investing time in building an application.

  • Some aspects of the API require an update to the iOS app (event webhooks). This version of the app will be submitted to the app store soon and should be available in a couple of weeks, but you can simulate the same events generated by the app in the developer portal for your testing.

  • The Android app, which is currently in beta does not support event webhooks. We don't have a timeline for when it will be available.

+++Here are the details you need to get started with the API:+++

API Documentation

We'll keep it updated as it improves.

Sample Applications

This node.js app uses oAuth to allow automatic users to sign in and
view their trips. It also has functions to allow exporting of trips.
You can see this app live at

A node.js app to test and demonstrate the use of webhooks. After
signing in with oAuth, users see a map that is updated with markers
based on events sent by Automatic. You can see this app live at - there is a button that will
send test events to the client, so you can see what would happen if
you were actually driving

Getting an API Key

Log in with your automatic account at:

From here you can request an API key.

API Status

The REST endpoints (for getting trip summaries)
Webhooks for trip:finished and parking:changed.

Coming in late January:
The rest of the webhook events

Building an App

We'd love to see what you build using the api - some ideas to get you started:

* make graphs of trip frequency, miles driven, mpg, etc using the
REST trip summary endpoint
* an app that sends your family a text every time you arrive at work
(using the webhook trip:finished event and the lat/lon provided)
* Auto-checkin on fourquare when you arrive at home (trip:finished
webook event based on end location)
* An app that compares your driving to someone elses (requires you to
keep track of users and ask their permission to share data between

API Support and Feedback

We want feedback: you can email with any
questions, suggestions or issues. If something in the documentation
isn't clear, or if anything with our implementation isn't awesome, let
us know and we'll make it right.
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Official Response
Hey everyone,

I hear you all loud and clear. Some of you have correctly pointed out that Automatic is being improved, but perhaps in areas that aren't as interesting to you personally (e.g. Crash Alert, which recently was upgraded to use a human call center at no extra cost to users). For what it's worth, it's been very useful to the unfortunate folks who've been in accidents these past few months.

As for the topic under discussion, I see the big opportunity here to help drivers better understand their driving habits and learn personalized ways to save on gas. To do that, in the past few months we've built up a rock star data science team to develop the models of driver behavior and car performance to power these features, far beyond what existing products can do today. Visual feedback is part of it, but it's not the whole feature, so stay tuned.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to tell us what you're looking for and what we might be doing wrong. It helps and motivates all of us here.

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Official Response
Hey Robert, we've made a lot of internal progress on this feature, both in terms of the UX we want to deliver and the underlying technical challenges to build it. I know how important this is to folks – it's important to us too – a lot of us who work here want it :) But we need to make sure we build it right, that it works for all cars, doesn't distract drivers, and provides real value to people so they can make better decision about how they drive. Trust me, it's a high priority. It's also a big challenge, but we're up to it.