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From 'Quantified Self' To 'Quantified Car'

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the soon-the-game-will-be-mandatory dept.

Transportation 173

waderoush writes "A San Francisco startup called Automatic Labs came out of stealth mode in March, offering a Bluetooth gadget that connects to your car's onboard data port and sends engine performance data to an app on your smartphone (iPhone only right now, Android coming this fall). Xconomy went on a test drive with Automatic's chief product officer and captured video of the system in action. The app chirps at you when it notices rough braking, aggressive acceleration, or speeding over 70 mph. It also keeps a record of your fuel economy and gives you a gamified 'driving score' to encourage more efficient driving habits and fuel savings. It's all a sign that that the ethic of ubiquitous mobile/cloud sensing and analytics that 'quantified selfers' are applying to their personal health and fitness is spilling over to neighboring areas of consumer technology, including transportation. The Automatic Link device costs $70 and will begin shipping in May." Along similar lines, the Kiwi Drive Green has been available for several years.

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How long before somebody subverts it? (1)

Suferick (2438038) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559477)

I can't think of any way that an attacker would use this for nefarious purposes

Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1, Informative)

geekd (14774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559525)

"The app chirps at you when it notices rough braking, aggressive acceleration, or speeding over 70 mph."

I do that all the time. I like to do that. That's why I bought a sports car. Why would I want an app to chirp at me when I do that?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559629)

I get annoyed enough at the "beep beep beep" from the traction control.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559725)

Why haven't you disabled your traction control?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559739)

Mine is just a blinky light on the dash that tells me the car is trying to do something it would rather I didn't. Seriously don't throttle down the engine I want to slide around this corner, or throttle down and brake the wheels when I want to spin the tires until I hit dry pavement under this snow on a hill so I can get going. The only time it seems to do something useful for me is on really slick snow or ice covered roads, and even then the traction control on my car seem fairly incompetent. On dry pavement I can out drive it, yes I do have a SCCA solo license and that is fun as hell, I don't want the car telling me what it thinks I want it to do.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559647)

umm... don't get one?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559923)

I can easily imagine auto insurers requesting that their insured install one of these. It could report the driving offenses right to the insurer's smartphone app. Of course it'd be disguised as a "discount program for safe drivers". One of them already has something similar using a dash cam.

Of course, that would foster the creation of an emulator that sends info to that app describing you as being a perfect driver. As an added bonus, it could fake out the emissions data for states that use the onboard diagnostics instead of a tailpipe sniff test for emissions testing.

Ahh, technology.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560275)

Of course it'd be disguised as a "discount program for safe drivers"

Or, as safe drivers would say, "a means to stop subsidizing bad drivers' car insurance policies"

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560461)

Of course it'd be disguised as a "discount program for safe drivers"

Or, as safe drivers would say, "a means to stop subsidizing bad drivers' car insurance policies"

You're assuming that someone is actually an unsafe driver is they set off this stupid gizmo. I might have to accelerate quickly to merge onto a busy highway. There are plenty of old on-ramps in my area that should be longer than they actually are. That doesn't make me an unsafe driver, all it means is that I use those particular on-ramps. Now consider drivers that have this tattler installed. They'd stop on the on-ramp to wait for a long gap in traffic so they don't get ratted out. That's actually far less safe because now they're likely to be rear-ended. It's the stupid red light cameras all over again. People panic brake at those lights to avoid a ticket and end up causing accidents.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560921)

You're assuming that someone is actually an unsafe driver is they set off this stupid gizmo. I might have to accelerate quickly to merge onto a busy highway. There are plenty of old on-ramps in my area that should be longer than they actually are.

By virtue of the fact that you are driving on bad roads, you are increasing your risk of an accident. That's plain reality. Do you want us to sit here an say "there, there, it's not your fault. It's simply unfair that your on-ramps are short"? It doesn't change the fact that you are more expensive to insure.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561099)

That's already factored in. Why do you think insurance policies vary by region? I'm not a fan of being billed twice for the same thing. In that example, the road is as unsafe for me as it would be for any other driver. That's not a reason to penalize an individual.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (2)

spyke252 (2679761) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560605)

Bad driving isn't simply "speeding over 70mph" (aren't some highways over that speed limit anyway?), it's an amalgamation of not paying attention, not planning ahead, and not conforming to how everyone else is driving (to an extent). The problem you pose isn't solved in any way by this technology, and it gives more "bad driver" false positives than correct predictions.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560313)

Do you mean something like this [progressive.com] ?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560353)

Yea, that's the one I was thinking of.

do it again! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559657)

how about an app that says "oh yeah" in a breathless female voice with every extreme G maneuver ?

Re:do it again! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560045)

how about an app that says "oh yeah" in Kool-Aid Mans voice with every extreme G maneuver ?

FTFY.

OH YEA!

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" car? (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559731)

I concur. All the lame new cars with their nagging BS and recent trends like the "Let Your Insurance Company Monitor Your Driving Habits" modules..... People are too lame to see the potential for enjoying life.

If I get any new cars that have nag features or spy features, I will be rearranging the circuitry to disable them.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" car? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559855)

If you're going to that level of effort, why not rewire them to defraud your insurance company?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559775)

Because you're an ass and we'd all appreciate it if you stopped.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559795)

So you can feel *extra* dirty?

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (3, Insightful)

arlo5724 (172574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559817)

Not to sound like a total douche but I try to drive as efficiently as possible. At first it was a personal finance issue since I noticed that driving efficiently saved me considerably over the course of a year. Now that I make decent money it's less about that and more that I don't have any particular reason to be wasteful. And since I'm not trying to impress anyone out there and not driving 500 miles a day, frankly I'd rather give as little money to oil companies and car makers as is humanly possible. If the app was on Android I would probably have already pre-ordered one...

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559933)

Not to sound like a total douche but

Too late.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559979)

Admins, please change the GPs signon to 'total douche'

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560023)

So buy an electric car and be done with it.

Go get a cheap bluetooth OBD2 adaptor, if it costs more than $15 shipped, it it too much. Then buy Torque for Android for $5.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

Nikker (749551) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561275)

That is pretty much what it is. They only went the exta mile and set up thresholds which beep.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560039)

Why would you buy this if you're trying to be green? If you're already driving efficiently, you don't need it. You'd be wasting the energy and raw materials required to construct and ship the device to you.

The only use I can see for this is for the hyper-mile-tards to put their score in their forum sigs and for insurers to penalize folks for either not having one or for setting it off repeatedly.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560063)

Not to sound like a total douche but I try to drive as efficiently as possible.

That's not being a douche; hell, it's commendable.

Being a douche would be more along the lines of "I try to drive as efficiently as possible, and there needs to be a law that forces everyone else to drive the way I do."

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (3, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560401)

I'm not "trying to impress anyone out there", I'm just trying not to die of boredom on my daily commute. A full-throttle acceleration from a stop light (when the way is clear and it's safe to do so) every now and then can really put a smile on my face.

I hear people say things about people with sports cars - "he's got small penis" or "he's showing off", but I'm just having fun. I'm having fun *for myself*. I've got no one to show off for - I'm married 17 years now.

This app is not for me.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560119)

Im going to guess you probably arent the target demographic of this device.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560169)

I think it'll be about 5yrs before every insurance company on the planet makes this mandatory. Which is this company true target market.

Re:Why would I want a "Nanny" app? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560655)

I do that all the time. I like to do that. That's why I bought a sports car. Why would I want an app to chirp at me when I do that?

you don't. The rest of us getting "buzzed" by you do.

I'm disappointed (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559543)

From the headline, I thought we were going to get a story about a car that instantaneously tunneled through walls, or could park in more than one garage at the same time, depending on how many garage doors you had open.

performance oriented version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559551)

lets see one

Re:performance oriented version (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559623)

Here you go [pistonheads.com] . Even records more useful data on what the hell the vehicle is doing.

Seriously you can get VC money for this? (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559553)

This is what you can get VC money for?

A $10 chinese ELM327 with bluetooth and some crappy software?

Where do I find he suckers? I meant investors, where do I find investors?

Great news for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559715)

I have a system to help you find your investors, all I need is a modest investment from you, and we can get off the ground floor!

Re:Great news for you! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559755)

No problem, I just need you to pay the processing fee on that investment and I can get you the money right away.

Re:Seriously you can get VC money for this? (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559745)

I guess you don't read slashvertisements.

Re:Seriously you can get VC money for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560101)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Torque-APP-Bluetooth-CAN-OBD-ODB-OBD2-Auto-Scanner-Android-HTC-Motorola-Samsung-/370703149869?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item564fa12b2d

ODB2 to bluetooth to Android app. About $15. That's a hell of a markup. I suppose they've got to pay back all the VC they've been spending on hookers and coke.

black box (1)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559563)

All this data come from car's on board computer. In case you didn't know. Your car is spying on you!

Re:black box (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559675)

Your car records even more data than what this little app is giving you. OBDII contains all sorts of useful information on what your vehicle is doing and how it is running. It only keeps it around in a rolling log for a short (don't know specifics) but things like error codes stick around until cleared.

Re:black box (1)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559909)

I am not worried about performance data. What worries me is the 10 seconds of driver actions recorded and kept by government mandate.

Re:black box (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561029)

So it is 10 seconds and it is mostly used for accident investigations. As in were you actually on your brakes when you plowed into that car in front of you or your dumb ass was driving 20mph over the speed limit, lost control, and plowed into a tree. I don't see how 10 seconds of data being recorded is a bad thing as it's not like the government is mandating that all the data needs to be sent to them in real time every 10 seconds. I actually believe that they need to get a warrant to get access to that data as well so it isn't like they can just grab it at will.

Achievment Unlocked: Road Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559591)

Drove 69 mph all the way home. Got high score.

Re:Achievment Unlocked: Road Rage (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560281)

Drove 69 mph all the way home. Got high score.

You kid, but I wonder...

Would gamification of good driving techniques be an effective method of encouraging such practices? I.e., a camera on the front of the car recognizes street signs, and awards the driver with points/achievements if they properly obey them.

Re:Achievment Unlocked: Road Rage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560439)

Or we could put cameras on the street signs and if you ignored them you would have a deduction from your personal bank of "points" that you earned from doing other activities in life.

Sounds like pylint (1)

Marcion (876801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559593)

R: Your route contained too many branches
C: Your car needs to be 4 exactly spaces from the sidewalk

Working on something just like it but better (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559601)

This sounds similar to something I am working on now. With an ODB2 to usb connector (these are like $5-$10 off of ebay) and Raspberry Pi. Toss in some software (there is open source OBD2 software) and a speaker and you basically have this system. As an added bonus you can attach other devices to the RPi and make it even more useful as an in car device. As for the price the whole setup I am working on comes in at less than the single connector they are selling. I do wonder what detailed data it is collecting as OBD2 can provide lots of realtime data on things like fuel air ratios, injector trims, engine speed, etc and it seems like this is only scratching the surface.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559627)

If you have a smartphone you can skip the raspberry pi. Torque does 99% of this already.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559803)

Don't have a smartphone but have a couple Pis that I was looking for additional uses for instead of just an RTK GPS setup and ran across this [pistonheads.com] on how to really make use of OBDII and an RPi. As an added bonus I could also have it log location data as well since I have that equipment already. I haven't made it to that project yet other than initial research as I am working on the RTK GPS setup so this expansion will have to wait a bit.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559823)

An old smartphone is what I was considering using. I have a couple D1s laying around collecting dust.

Those have GPS onboard as well. Plus a display that can be used to get that data out in a nice way to the user.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559767)

Save your money, and buy a commercial version from Garmin.

http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/garmin/ecoroute-hd.html [gpscentral.ca]

It already has a boatload of features, and has been field tested for several years. You can even read your car's diagnostic codes. You don't even
need a gps to make this work, because there is a free android app for it. Its not the most advanced sensor out there, but it will help you catch those fleeting diagnostic codes your mechanic just can't seem to find.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559863)

$90? What a ripoff.

Seriously a $10 ELM327 can do this job just fine. Even if you get the pay for version of Torque you just saved yourself $75.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559921)

Sure, if all you want to do is read the codes.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559957)

No, it does everything that unit does.
It will give you all the data you car puts out over OBD2. This varies from model to model of car.

Paired with the $5 torque I do not see anything this garmin offers that I am missing. I have position, all the fancy gauges, everything.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560963)

Um, I had a system like this a decade ago. Laptop instead of Pi, but still the same thing.
Still have it, still use it. With the same laptop.

Re:Working on something just like it but better (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561223)

I had seen those setups previously and that is why I wondered if it was possible on the Pi. I went with the Pi because I have 2 of them and when not doing RTK GPS stuff I could easily re-purpose one for this. I could probably have it doing GPS loggin and OBDII logging at the same time all from the same $35 device + the cost of the add on hardware.

70 mph (2)

hierofalcon (1233282) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559605)

Hope that's programmable as the interstate speed limits in large portions of the country are 75 or 80.

Re:70 mph (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559673)

just because the speed limit is 80 it doesn't make it any more fuel efficient to go over 70...

Re:70 mph (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559811)

Having your head beaten in by an enraged hick isn't going to help your mileage.

YMMV, literally ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559891)

just because the speed limit is 80 it doesn't make it any more fuel efficient to go over 70...

YMMV, literally. It sort of depends on your engine and transmission. My car's US EPA mileage rating for highway is 29mpg, presumably based on 55mph. I consistently get about 34mpg on the highway at 70mph. Measured by the on-board mpg display and confirmed via gas pump fuel dispensed and odometer. I haven't tried 75, but for all I know the sweet spot could be over 70, or under. Yeah, 80 sounds a bit too much but who knows. I guess I have an experiment for that next road trip to Vegas.

Re:YMMV, literally ... (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560393)

according to your 'sweet spot' theory maybe the sweet spot for me riding my bike would be 30mph (should take less energy to go 30mph than 20mph) oh, wait...

Your comparison to EPA is apples/oranges, just because you can get 34mpg at 70mph it does NOT mean that if you go 55mph you will get only 29mpg everything else being equal...

Re:YMMV, literally ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561035)

according to your 'sweet spot' theory maybe the sweet spot for me riding my bike would be 30mph (should take less energy to go 30mph than 20mph) oh, wait... Your comparison to EPA is apples/oranges, just because you can get 34mpg at 70mph it does NOT mean that if you go 55mph you will get only 29mpg everything else being equal...

In my haste I left out a little detail. I do in fact get around 29mpg at 55mph. I say "around" because I haven't measured things as carefully at this speed. My quick and dirty checks varied, a little under, a little over, so I just think in terms of the EPA rating which seems about right.

Sorry for the confusion but my mind seems more focused on the unexpected result than the expected result. In the past my cars did in fact get worse mileage at 70. The current car has a six speed manual transmission and in sixth gear at 55 the engine is just barely above idle. Not an optimal point. Whether the optimal point is closer to 70, 75 or 80 I don't know. I think my point stands, we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss speeds above 70. It depends entirely upon the engine and transmission.

Re:70 mph is dildos (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559689)

Right. I spent a couple of weeks in Oklahoma one time, and was happy to see the 75 MPH speed limit signs on some of their 2-lane highways. I was driving a Japanese sports-car with about 240HP, so it was cool to roll out across the rolling landscape there at 80+ MPH with no worries of tickets.

When you crest one of the rolling hills out there, you can often see the next town even if it's 20 miles away. The overall landscape is flat with lots of bumps to get upon and scout about.

Hmm.. (1)

Saethan (2725367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559649)

Going to send this to a friend of mine - he did something very similar but just for his own use on his cars.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559821)

Why? His solution probably cost less and could do more.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Saethan (2725367) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560015)

Exactly! That was more of a 'oh look, a way for my friend to make money.'

2 obvious slashverts in 2 days (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559679)

Fuck Timothy.

perfect for parents (2)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559691)

This nanny device could allow parents to spy on their kids driving habits. No more rally driving for them !

Re:perfect for parents (1)

frinkster (149158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559929)

This nanny device could allow parents to spy on their kids driving habits. No more rally driving for them !

Or they can buy a Ford, which can already do that for parents and more - like you can set it so the radio can't be turned on if the driver isn't wearing a seatbelt, or the low-fuel light comes on sooner because your kids are idiots, etc.

Re:perfect for parents (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559995)

Have you tried just sitting down with your kids, turning off the TV, and beating them?

Why in the world would you want a car you can't park and run the radio?

How is your kid gonna get laid in this nanny wagon?

Same old same old .... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559693)

get one of these [amazon.com]

Install this for free [google.com]

Or get the pro version for $5.

does almost the same things for more than $50 less.

The rest is just common sense and marketing hype.

Then again, there are a lot of folks out there who need to spend money and have a "cool" app.....

Re:Same old same old .... (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559789)

Yeah. I don't know WTF these people are smoking.

Bluetooth ODBII has been available for pocket-change for a while, so much so that there's dozens of phone apps for them already.

Torque Pro is awesome. I 3 it.

Re:Same old same old .... (1)

CdBee (742846) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559869)

yeah, same here. Since I plugged a cheapo bluetooth unit (the blue clear one for people looking on eBay) into my Volvo V40 my fuel bills have dropped noticeably, and it gave me very early warning that the engine thermostat was failing, long before I'd have noticed it through an unsteady thermostat needle. I feel also that running the car in a less aggressive style for economy's sake will prolong the life of various components too that otherwise need to be bought and either fitted, or paying someone to fit...

anon so I can't be accused of bragging (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560051)

Volvo V40 my fuel bills have dropped noticeably, ... running the car in a less aggressive style for economy's sake

There's your problem right there.

I'm sure when I put a bluetooth OBD in the GT 500, that's just going to push me to drive for HIGH SCORE!, and MPH ain't gonna be high in any of the the metrics I'd be looking at.

But I'm schizophrenic and also have a Subabu that I'm shooting for the million mile club(tm). So that car I might drive like you'd drive your Volvo, Alan.

Re:Same old same old .... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559883)

For the first one, get the cheapest one you can find. Inside they are all the same, a cheap chinese ELM327 clone and a bluetooth transmitter.

Thaaaaaat's what I wanted. (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559707)

Something else chirping at me.

Or, alternately, I already have a wife who notices rough braking, aggressive acceleration, or speeding over 70 mph, and she is more than willing to chirp at me about it.

How is this different than Torque Pro (3, Informative)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559757)

Sounds like it does same thing.

http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/5845 [kk.org]

Why is this on Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559799)

The are a number of Android apps and ODB Bluetooth adapters already on the market. You can use them view trouble codes,capture car diagnostics, etc. This isn't new or news...

I have a Garmin EcoRoute with Bluetooth which grabs ODB data and presents it as gauges to the Garmin GPS on my Kenwood head unit. I can also use it record trip/mileage information and view/reset diagnostic codes. It will even show me an efficiency graph over the trip. This is enough for me.

My concern about the gameified "driving score" is that it could lead to some people being more concerned about beating their top score than focusing on driving safely. We don't need more distracted drivers...

Re:Why is this on Slashdot? (1)

frinkster (149158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559959)

But this is a SAN FRANCISCO start up! They are going to collect all that data and sell it to advertisers! This is major automotive DISRUPTION you are witnessing!

Slashvertisement (3, Insightful)

Hobadee (787558) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559829)

How is this news? I got a ODB2 -> Bluetooth adapter last year, and that was after a year or two of thinking about it. I use Torque on my Android to track my mileage, chirp at me when I go over a speed I set, and track engine performance.

The only thing here that *might* be news is the gamification of ODB2 stats, but who really cares about that?

Oh, and my dad just picked up a ODB2 -> Bluetooth adapter for about $25 and it works great, so why would anyone want to spend $70 on one!?

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559915)

You can find them for $10 these days. So the ripoff is even worse than you think.

Re:Slashvertisement (1)

Hobadee (787558) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560069)

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here. I've heard the $10 ones can be flaky and not always work well. That's why my dad splurged and got a $25 one. :-P

Already exists for way less (2)

tech.kyle (2800087) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559837)

I use a $10 bluetooth ELM327 adapter and the free version of Torque [google.com] for Android. It doesn't do any of that chirp stuff, but it easily could with the right software. On top of that, access to ALL sensors and codes.

Not only that, the GPS in our trucks at work do exactly what this thing does [blogcdn.com] .

It's not new, it's not even a good price.

Would be great, if linked to navigation software (2)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559853)

Screw the nanny bit, but this integrated with decent navigation software could be cool.
After a while, you could gain some useful insights into your regular trip; places where you often have to brake hard etc.
Imagine one dark, rainy evening, after working late, your GPS says "hey, you're going too fast for the next bend..."
Now THAT would be useful...

Come to think of it, you could do that without this device, methinks...

The Monitored Life Is Worth Buying (1)

preaction (1526109) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559893)

"The unexamined life is not worth living", so I'm going to thoroughly examine every aspect of my own life! How much time can one really spend on things like this? I've tried keeping calorie counts every day, but now I just weigh myself every morning and approximate calories on every new meal I add to the repertoire. If I spend too much time trying to optimize everything in my life, what time do I have left to live it?

Re:The Monitored Life Is Worth Buying (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560889)

Did you examine your word count in that post? Or your spelling?

No, I didn't see any obvious errors. You even spelled "repertoire" correctly. But I'm just asking.

At some point, you have to examine whether you should be examining everything. I think you just started. Congratulations.

kill it. kill it now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559941)

subpoena.
subpoena by insurance companies.
mandatory in all new cars sold after {...}.

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43559953)

Dear Linux Advocate,

Money doesn't grow on trees and it's taking a while for our venture capital funding (for developing an app that chirps at you when you're using non-Free software) to come through. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

But, any amount you feel you are able to donate in support of our ongoing work will be most surely appreciated and put to very good use. Your contributions keep Linux Advocates growing.

Show your support by making a donation today.

Thank you.

Dieter T. Schmitz
Linux Advocates, Owner

http://www.linuxadvocates.com/p/support.html [linuxadvocates.com]

Dammit Judge! (1)

nanospook (521118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559955)

That is so self-incriminating!

No sign yet (1)

jamesl (106902) | about a year and a half ago | (#43559997)

It's all a sign that that the ethic of ubiquitous mobile/cloud sensing and analytics that 'quantified selfers' are applying to their personal health and fitness is spilling over to neighboring areas of consumer technology, including transportation. The Automatic Link device costs $70 and will begin shipping in May.

It will only be a sign if people actually pay $70 for it. I'm sure that Xconomy will publish a follow-up piece next year.

Nice generic name they came up with, too (1)

thewils (463314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560177)

Way to home in on your product in Google searches - "About 874,000,000 results (0.19 seconds)"

Next thing they're going to trademark the word "Automatic" I guess...

Slashvertisement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43560311)

Nice to see this Slashvertisement exposed as over-priced crap. /. won't be totally useless as long as it allows commenting on the horrible articles.

Already got one (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560513)

The app chirps at you when it notices rough braking, aggressive acceleration, or speeding over 70 mph.

So it's basically the same as having my wife in the car.

70? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43560869)

Wow....no. Not. Never, will I allow anything in my car, app or human, that complains when I go over 70.

That is seriously how you get told to walk the rest of the way.

Law of unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43561119)

"Avoiding rough braking and aggressive acceleration" translates to: coast to every obstacle, speed up slowly when traffic picks up.
-> Fewer cars fit in every red-light-to-red-light stretch, stop-sign-to-stop-sign stretch, and highway stop-and-go stretch.
-> More traffic congestion, longer commutes.
-> Less fuel efficiency overall, more pollution.

Remember: your car uses up a fraction of the total roadway capacity proportional to the integral over time of the distance from the rear bumper of the car in front of you to your rear bumper. Anything you do that increases this fraction makes traffic worse and increases pollution. So just drive: not aggressively, but not like a moron either.

And THEN.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43561137)

Then it will tell you what your new insurance rates are going to be.

That will be the result once insurance companies start to get this data. They are already trying to demand some of it. You need to absolutely refuse and hold out no matter how difficult it is., or find a way to fake it all.

Your car, your data. Don't give them a choice.

Slashvertisments (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561259)

Really ... like this is a new concept?

There have been ODB-II apps for longer than there has been an app store. Before the app store, you had to hack your own adapter together and jailbreak. Since the app store we've gotten WiFi and Bluetooth ODB-II adapters with deep sleep modes and god knows how many apps that do a shitload more than this crap you are slashvertising.

You're only about 4-5 years late to noticing this app category. Without scrolling up to look, I bet timothy posted this story.

I don't know (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43561273)

If I can trust a company that publishes for the smaller smart phone market first. Doesn't seem like they have real bright decision makers.

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