Automatic Transforms Your Car Into Rolling Smart App Platform

An auto startup called Automatic is turning to third-party developers to help turn your dumb car into a smart one. The way it plans to do that is through a new app store for its car adapter, a small device that plugs into almost every car manufactured since 1996. By partnering with over 20 third-party developers, the first batch of apps found in the new Automatic App Gallery can upgrade your driving experience by helping you remember where you parked, decode engine problems, track mileage for business trips, and more.

To attract even more third-party developers, Automatic also has made available its software development kit (SDK). It includes rich APIs that give access to a wealth of driving data -- webhooks and websockets for driving events like ignition on/off, check engine light status, and real-time location updates; real-time streams of speed, RPM, air intake, and data from many other sensors; and the ability to track mileage, routes, start/end location and times, and more.

Automatic App Gallery

"We’ve even got libraries and SDKs for iOS, Android, Ruby, node.js, PHP and others; rich documentation and sample apps; and a Developer Apps Manager, which lets you register new applications, get API keys, manage your developer account, and submit apps to production," Automatic said in a blog post. "We asked ourselves what a great API for a car would look like and built one that works for every car on the road today. Developers, start your engines!"

Automatic iPhone

In order to support the wealth of new data that users have been requesting and to give developers more flexibility, Automatic also launched a 2nd generation car adapter. The new adapter supports dual Bluetooth data streams so that it can communicate with the Automatic mobile app and a third-party app at the same time.

Automatic's second generation adapter also boasts a built-in GPS, Made for iPhone (MFi) certification, and an updated connector so that it can fit better in more cars.