New app reads your car’s ‘mind’

Thanks to Automatic Labs’ new app, you no longer have to fear your car’s dreaded “check engine” light.

We all know how annoying it is when your car holds this secret knowledge of what its problem is but makes it impossible for you to easily diagnose.

Now, their app, Automatic, allows your dumb dumb car to send info to your smarty smartphone to let you know exactly what the problem is.

The app also helps you with everything from remembering where you parked your car to giving you tips on how to save gas. Thejo Kote, Automatic’s chief executive officer and co-founder told the Chronicle:

“For the last 20 years, cars have been computers, and there’s so much information in them, and it’s just locked in. Giving people access to that information and insight into how they actually drive and how they’re spending money – we feel that is really valuable information.”

Before you can use the app, though, you have to purchase a $70 device, Automatic Link, that plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostic system port. The Link device then transmits diagnostic data to your phone via Bluetooth.

You can also delete all those “cheap gas finder” apps off your phone. Automatic starts looking for cheap nearby gas when your gas tank starts getting low. Kote added:

“Nobody knows anything about how they use their car and what they do with their car, and that’s really surprising given that people spend more money for their car than they do on food for the family.”

The app may annoy lead-foot drivers as it beeps whenever you accelerate too quickly or brake too hard, just to remind you to be more efficient with your gas.

The company is already taking orders for the Link but won’t start shipping until May.