What happens if I want to pop my Automatic temporarily into a rental car?

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Let's say my Automatic device is successfully paired with my primary vehicle. Everything is fine. I am hoping to continue the collision hard brake detection service while I drive a rental car. I don't want to re-do the pairing process and start maintaining a profile for the rental car. I've actually tried that and it is a big hassle to switch back and forth. Can I temporarily plug my Automatic into the rental car without pairing it? I know the diagnostics will be wrong but let's say I don't care about any of those things. I just want the Crash Alert, hard braking sensor to work with my phone. Thanks for your insights!

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Scott Chou

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Posted 3 years ago

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Tom, Former Employee

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Good question, Scott. The adapter was designed to be with one car at a time, but having said that, you can move it between cars. However, as you mentioned in your post, you have to run through the setup process each time the adapter is moved to a different vehicle (here's a link to a related FAQ). We require you to run through setup each time to ensure that the adapter is accessing the correct vehicle protocols. If you just plug the adapter into a new vehicle without running through setup (which we don't recommend), Automatic won't work properly.
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Scott Chou

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What exactly does "work properly mean"? I don't expect everything to work. If I walk away from the car, can the app still note where I parked the car? Can the Automatic adapter still detect a crash based on its accelerometer?
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Tom, Former Employee

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Hi Scott. If you plug the adapter into a new vehicle and don’t run through the setup process, here are a few things that will happen:
  1. Your trips will be associated with the vehicle that you previously ran setup on (and not the current vehicle it’s installed in). If however, you remove the previous vehicle that you ran setup on from the app and then plug the adapter into the new rental car, none of your trips will appear, and the parking location feature won’t work.
  2. The MPG/fuel efficiency data will be inaccurate.
  3. Crash Alert and hard brake/acceleration alerts should work, but we can’t guarantee it. Also, if you happen to be involved in an accident and Crash Alert is triggered, the vehicle description that we have on record will not match the rental car that you’re driving.
You can choose to not run through setup, but in order to ensure proper performance, we highly recommend that you do so. I hope this helps explain things a bit more. 
(Edited)
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Paul Charlesworth

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The only thing I am really interested in would be the gps tracking because it is fun to look back on. If I plug automatic in to the rental will the gps work and transfer to my phone?
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Jeff, Alum

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Hey Paul,

Thanks for reaching out. As long as the car is compatible and you go through setup, you will be able to see those past trips. However, the more cars you add, it may hinder performance (from the app loading, not the actual data being recorded).

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