This will change when Automatic goes live.
Automatic connects your car to your smartphone to give you high-end car features such as driving feedback, trip timelines, and check engine light codes to diagnose what is wrong with your car. It can also tell you where you parked and in beta is a Crash Alert to call 911 if you get in an accident.
And all it costs is a one-time purchase of a car plug for $69.95. There is no subscription to buy.
I can already tell that this would save me money because anytime the check engine light goes on, my local garage charges me $99 to read the code and "diagnose" what the potential problem may be with my car. Other cost savings would come from the driving feedback and the trip timeline. And that's just for the individual user. Parents would love this device to keep track of their kids and their driving habits.
You can imagine a small business using this to both track and manage their drivers and to compensate them for their miles and to make sure their fleet of cars are being driven according to company guidelines. And if a driver ever gets into an accident, you would have some information regarding hard breaking or speeding which might even help should you have to go to court.
The idea of this has been around for a while but it's nice to see that somebody has taken this "to the masses" and to show the big automakers that technology like this is possible and doesn't cost $500 with a monthly subscription.
iPhone users can pre-order now for May shipping, Android ships this fall.
Pre-order the Automatic here: