Automatic, the smart driving startup that builds an accessory for just about any vehicle, is expanding its list of retail partners beyond Apple thanks to a new deal with Amazon. That means the car will be available to a whole new group of customers, thanks to a distribution arrangement with the world’s largest online retailer.
Automatic’s Link plugs into a car’s ODB-11 port, which is generally going unused on any vehicle between service spots, but which essentially provides access to the car’s central nervous system and can relate back a huge amount of information about your vehicle and its travels, including fuel consumption, detailed information about “check engine” and other service lights that appear on your dashboard, and can also detect crashes and send automatic calls for help.
The deal for Automatic means retail presence that could help it become more than just a niche product for tech enthusiasts. And that could be good news for the connected car space in general: Our own Chris Velazco reviewed the product and found that it helped make him more conscious of his own driving habits, which could in turn lead to a number of other use cases for that new awareness and newly unearthed information. With other accessories feeding from the pipe Automatic provides, we could see all kinds of different incarnations of intelligent driving accessories, but first Automatic’s Link needs to reach critical mass.