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The aftermarket vehicle data/tracking service Automatic is shutting down

Automatic
Automatic (Image credit: ModernDad.com)

Automatic — which uses a cellular-connected device plugged into your car's OBD-II port to provide diagnostic, tracking and analytics data — is shutting down. The company sent out an email to users today noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is the cause, and that means the end of "the Automatic connected car product, service, and platform."

The service will shut down at midnight Pacific time on May 28.

Automatic was purchased by SiriusXM in April 2017 and featured a couple flavors of connected car devices. Automatic Pro housed its own 3G radio and could upload information at its leisure, which also allowed for real-time tracking of a vehicle. Automatic Lite relied on a Bluetooth connection with your phone to upload the data.

Automatic worked with pretty much any car out there, and with both Android and iOS devices. You'd buy it once and have a "lifetime" of use. It'd track each drive, showing how much (and where) you traveled, estimating the cost of the trip, and seamlessly integrating with other services for those who needed to keep track of their mileage. It also could show diagnostic codes, and help track your fuel usage. Automatic Pro sold for $129 back in the day and came with a "lifetime" usage plan. You buy it once, and it just works forever.

Of course, forever isn't actually forever. The good news is that Automatic is offering rebates, though you'll have to meet a few requirements, including proof of purchase and the ability to verify your account information. And you'll have to complete the rebate request form by June 15, 2020. Automatic Pro will net you $109.99; Automatic Lite will net you $59.99; Automatic Connected Car Assistant will net you $79.99; and Automatic Classic with a promotional upgrade to Automatic CCA will get you $59.99.

If you meet the criteria for a rebate, you'll receive an electronic Visa gift card.

And what about all the data Automatic collected? (And to be clear, it's a lot of data about where you went. You can download all that data until June 28. After that, Automatic will delete it, permanently.

You may continue to sync driving and personal data with your account until we cease operations on May 28, 2020. In addition, your driving data will be available for you to retrieve until June 28, 2020 via the Automatic Dashboard located here. For detailed instructions on exporting your driving data, please check the Customer FAQs.

And that's that. RIP Automatic. It was fun while you tracked us.

10 Comments
  • Curious how COVID would be the cause of this....
  • Their business model relies on income from new customers to support the continuing expense of service to existing customers. Not as many people are driving, and I suspect their sales to new customers is not enough to keep things going. They would have been better off (in this situation) with a reduced initial cost, and having the services available as a subscription. That would have provided baseline income even without now purchases.
  • They were already on a subscription model for the latest/newest adapter. Unfortunately, there's a lot of copycat devices and/or devices offered directly by carriers or insurance companies offering the same features for free. I had the automatic pro and the service was spotty at best, likely because the 3G reception and GPS signal was weak from such a small device located under the dash. Looking for a replacement that doesn't rely on BT.
  • We're sorry to hear Automatic is shutting down its operations and the connected car product. Luckily, there is CarLock, a great solution that offers almost the same functionalities (security, driving performance, vehicle health, and trip tracking features). You're welcome to check our website (www.carlock.co) and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. - Monica from CarLock
  • Kind of stinks that this is my second tracker service to shut down; I did enjoy Automatic and it was reliable for me. I'm moving my fuel log to Gas Buddy manually since Automatic doesn't let you export this (just your trip logs). Looking for a new trip log option.
  • Hmmmmm. Two tracking services that YOU belonged to and two services that shut down. Coincidence? I think not. :-)
  • Lol I'm apparently bad luck for these companies. 😂
  • You can try out MileIQ if you're tracking logs
  • We're sorry to hear Automatic is shutting down its operations and the connected car product. Luckily, there is CarLock, a great solution that offers almost the same functionalities (security, driving performance, vehicle health, and trip tracking features). You're welcome to check our website (www.carlock.co) and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. - Monica from CarLock
  • "It'd track each drive, showing how much (and where) you traveled, estimating the cost of the trip, and seamlessly integrating with other services for those who needed to keep track of their mileage. It also could show diagnostic codes, and help track your fuel usage."
    - LOL at whoever thought people would pay $129 to track their own driving.