Why is there still no record of odometer readings when others like TRIPLOG claim to be able to read this from OBD ports?

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  • Updated 6 months ago
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Accountant says that my records are worthless without starting and ending odometer, and that the IRS is cracking down on this harder now. How can we get this integrated? TRIPLOG claims they can read this readings. I know a few years ago it was stated by Automatic that the readings were not possible through ODB.
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Andy Schwartz

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Posted 1 year ago

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Ani, Customer Care Lead

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Hi Andy, Automatic can only read generic OBD information, of which odometer readings do not qualify. Anything manufacturer specific is not within the range of information that we can decode. You can read more detail about this from our head of product's post from a couple years ago. I agree—it would be an awesome feature, but implementing it is not as simple as it seems.
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Rob Monroe

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Could a solution to this be that the user can manually set the mileage and then any trips after it has been set are added to the virtual odometer? I think this would be super useful for getting a reminder to change oil, rotate tires, change air filters, etc every XXXX miles, which could be easily calculated and tracked. Once I change my oil, I mark it as complete and it won't remind me again until I approach the next 5000 miles, for example.

Since Automatic can't get the actual odo reading, it could track it on it's own. I know there is still the chance of the data becoming out of sync if there are trips taken that don't get tracked, but I think it would be simple enough to verify the odo reading once a month or any other frequency the user desires.
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Amy

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We've definitely thought through options like this, Rob. The post from our Head of Product that Ani referenced above is a good explanation for why we haven't done it yet. It's not off the table, but it's not as simple as it might seem. 
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Andy Schwartz

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The problem is, after three iterations of automatic, I may officially have to find another solution. And unfortunately it looks like triplog is where it's at. They claim it can be done...somehow. Due to recent audits in my industry it is recommended that trip logs include starting and stopping odometer readings. Without this, I am told the log is useless.
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Ani, Customer Care Lead

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I can't speak to how their solution works or what sort of business deals they've made in order to make it happen, but if you're an Android user and your car supports the right PID (31 looks like), it could very well be a better solution for you. We'd definitely be sad to no longer have you as a user but totally understand that Automatic may not meet your needs at the moment. 
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James Tylee

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Just an FYI, your Accountant is wrong.  (Don't ask me how i know, but maybe call the IRS and ask)