Why is my route imprecise?

  • 3
  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members.

Photo of Automatic FAQ

Automatic FAQ, Official Rep

  • 16,398 Points 10k badge 2x thumb

Posted 5 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Automatic FAQ

Automatic FAQ, Official Rep

  • 16,398 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
UPDATED10/2106 

In order to determine trip routes with a 2nd generation adapter, Lite, or Pro adapter, the Automatic app uses the GPS capabilities of the adapter itself with some reliance on your phone's GPS as a secondary source if it's available. With a 1st generation adapter, Automatic relies solely on your phone's GPS. 

In a Gen 1 adapter, getting the most accurate route possible would require leaving GPS on continuously which quickly drains your phone's battery. To prevent this, the app collects location points only once a minute. The 2nd Gen, Lite & Pro adapters get GPS points every five seconds, but with all three products, raw GPS points can be very noisy and sometimes would place you in the middle of a building, ocean, or instantly teleporting over to the next block.  Additionally, there can be interference that can cause the GPS signal to not get through when the adapter tries to collect this. This can be caused by all the metal between the adapter and the open sky or by tall obstructions outside the car. So Automatic processes the raw GPS it collects after a trip into what we determine is the most sane and likely route. As a result, the route shown in the trip timeline may not always be 100% accurate and if we did not get the needed GPS points at the end of a trip, the parking location may not always be 100% accurate. If there is no route at all it's possible that a GPS lock was never established, which can happen on extremely short trips.

An important thing to note, though, is that even if your route is not accurate, the other trip data is as it's pulled directly from the OBD-II port and is unrelated to the route.
(Edited)

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.