Automatic: driving history

For two years I’ve had an Automatic tracker in my car, a gizmo that downloads data off the diagnostic port and uploads it to an iPhone app via Bluetooth. It tracks things like speed, mileage, etc but it turns out the most interesting thing it’s actually tracking is where I drive. But it’s not that interesting, and I’ve always been a bit nervous about the privacy implications of it, and rather than pair it to my new phone’s Bluetooth I’m going to stop using it.

Some summary stats from it:

  • 613 trips since September 2013
  • 11,290 miles in 252 hours. Average speed: 45mph.
  • 25 MPG average, $1600 in fuel

By far most of the hours in the car have been the 150 miles on I-80 between SF and Grass Valley.

The main use case the developers have in mind seems to be a nanny to encourage you to drive better. You get a “Score” that’s dinged down for driving over 60 mph, or braking too hard, or whatever. I found that condescending and useless. The IFTTT integration was sort of nice for creating data in Dropbox, but it wouldn’t export the GPS track. The product got a lot more useful when they added the Dashboard, with some nice Mapbox views of the data. Still I don’t have much use for collecting the data.

Here’s a heatmap they produced of all my driving. You can see all the I-80 trips, plus a long trip down to LA and back. Occasional detours through Stockton or Yuba City.

Automatic heat map

2 thoughts on “Automatic: driving history

  1. Is the internal (or at least, available and exported) sample ‘trip’ or something smaller? Like if you wanted to, could you, say, tint this by mpg or somesuch?

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