Two years ago, Automatic released a $100 Bluetooth-enabled car adapter along with an accompanying smartphone app to give you all kinds of insight about your vehicle. You could use it to track your trips, figure out your fuel consumption, locate your parking spot and even find out what that Check Engine light really means. Today, Automatic is taking that whole smart driving assistant thing one step further: It’s opening an app store so that third-party apps can harness some of that same metadata too. And since Automatic’s adapter works with any car with an OBD-II (Onboard Diagnostics) port — that’s all vehicles built and sold in the US since 1996 — that means this store will be compatible with a great majority of vehicles out there. Likely one you already own.
Automatic’s app store — also known as the Automatic App Gallery — will debut today with more than 20 apps from the likes of IFTTT, Expensify, Jawbone and Nest. It’ll work withAndroid and iOS, plus it even supports that fancy new watch from Apple. But that’s not all. Automatic is also introducing a second-generation adapter today that supports two Bluetooth streams simultaneously. One connection would be for the required Automatic app, while the other would be for any third-party app that uses the company’s brand-new Streaming API, which would be used to access your car’s info in real time. That API is just one of many that Automatic is also unveiling today as part of an open developer platform designed to encourage new apps.
Note that you don’t need the second-gen adapter to use the app store — it’s only if the particular app you want requires that second Bluetooth connection. Otherwise the first-gen one will work just fine. The new adapter costs $100 just like the old one and looks exactly the same, except it has a slightly snugger fit.
Click below to read the full article: