By Nicole Garbarino
Do you use different applications to figure out how to split the cost of gas with your friends? How about to track your earnings along side fuel costs if you work for a company like Lyft or Uber? Or even just to simply track your gas mileage on a road trip? Well now there is a platform that can do all of that and much more. Automatic, who at first just gathered information from you car’s on-board computer and sent it to your phone, can now do much more thanks to USAA who led their series B funding, which closed at $24 million (TechCrunch.)
With this money, Automatic has integrated numerous other apps to help accomplish some of the tasks listed above. Through their platform you can access vehicle related apps for business, performance, safety or convenience. You even can have certain applications begin to work when you arrive at a precise location or begin a specific task. They use a service called IFTTT (If This, Then That) which functions to help you personalize the platform towards your needs (Automatic.) For example, if you start your car, then a navigation app pops up on your phone.
All of this is cool, but why has USAA given so much money to this company? The answer is that they see an opportunity to link this with the car insurance side of their business. It is unknown exactly what Automatic plans to do while working with USAA, but it should be interesting to see how they combine efforts to grow the connected car industry.
With all of the new connected car devices out there this is definitely one to watch. Its ability to bring together numerous functions makes it very appealing to all types of drivers. Automatic is on sale now and includes the application and a small device that plugs into your car. Even people like me, who still drive vehicles that allow you to jam out to your favorite cassette tape can plug this device in and connect their vehicle. Connected cars are the future and it is a race to see who can become popular before the market becomes saturated.