This is a bit of perplexing news. Automatic, maker of car monitoring software and hardware, has just announced that it has sold itself to SiriusXM, subscription-based provider of satellite radio. The connection between the two companies' services might not make sense at first glance, but there is one.
We reviewed the Automatic Pro last year. For the unfamiliar, Automatic's car monitoring solutions provide pretty cool tools like diagnostic alerts, fuel monitoring, location tracking, and stats for logging trips and business expenses. If you are using your car for a business and need precise deductions, or want a tracking solution that also provides some extra tools, or if you're just a stats nerd interested in monitoring all the details of your car's movement, fueling, and use habits, then Automatic is a pretty nifty thing. Automatic's combined services use a 3G connected hardware dongle that plugs into your OBD port, a site dashboard, and an app for Android and iOS.
This might not seem like a very useful tool for a company like SiriusXM. In the press release given by Automatic they were quick to point out that the deal leaves them creative freedom, and that nothing will change. But the added resources that come from SiriusXM's connections into the auto industry could be more than a bit useful. Imagine if every car that came with SiriusXM's satellite radio also had all of Automatic's abilities. Adding Automatic's services to your car could be a one-click affair. Let's just hope they don't decide to change things up under SiriusXM's influence and switch to a subscription-based model. As things stand Automatic charges a one-time fee via your hardware purchase.
Automatic's app only works if you have their hardware, but feel free to check it out on Google Play below.