The company behind the car dongle Automatic has emailed all of their patrons about shutting down all operations starting May 28.
Like so many others, Automatic is yet another casualty COVID-19 leaves in its wake.
As the U.S. economy continues to experience a negative impact due to the global pandemic, many companies and businesses are facing big losses. Others have opted to delay their 2020 product release, while some have decided to scrap theirs entirely.
For the makers of Automatic, they’ve decided to just cut their losses and shut down completely.
An excerpt of the statement writes:
Just like many other companies in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our business. With fewer consumers purchasing and leasing vehicles and drivers on the road, we unfortunately do not see a path forward for our business. These are unprecedented times, and with so much uncertainty ahead, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Automatic connected car product, service, and platform.
Of course, they won’t immediately shut down, the company further notes that operations and the device’s services will remain active until the 11:59 p.m. PT on May 28.
The services like crash alerts, location sharing, and roadside assistance, will cease to function. This will also include the Roadside Assistance.
A month after that, on June 28, the “Log in with Automatic” service and third-party apps will also shut down. In addition, users that connected their PayTollo accounts to the smart device will reportedly receive further instructions from PayTollo directly.
An excellent assistant
Automatic was founded in California way back in 2011; then, the startup was purchased by the satellite radio megacorp SiriusXM six years after. Automatic’s dongle cost only US$100 [AU$155] and it gained notable traction by people who saw the value of the services they offered.
Also, it was straightforward to use and was able to launch an SDK for third-party app developers in May 2015. It raised over $24 million the following month.
It was able to partner with several key insurance providers as time passed by—all thanks to the ability to offer great insights about driving habits.
End of the road for @automatic car adapters – one of my favorite pieces of car tech. This is a small dongle that plugs into your OBD port, containing a cellular radio to sync your driving data to their app. Automatic advises to disconnect and recycle your adapter. @gruber pic.twitter.com/vLRfSIEHPl
— James Gill (@jamesgillphoto) May 1, 2020
The company started to have problems earlier this May. They announced then that it would be ending the support for the first two generations of the dongles. After May 28, Automatic will cease to exist.
The company is still offering some rebates for only a limited number of customers, so if you’re eligible, just go ahead and take the chance before May 28.