Most of us don’t have self-driving cars yet, but we can still live in the future. With an Automatic Pro OBD-II adapter and an Amazon Echo, you can talk to your car from the comfort of your living room. Find out where your car is, whether you need gas, and how far you’ve driven all with your voice.
OBD-II adapters are handy little gadgets that you can use to make your car smarter. If you’re not familiar with them, you can check out our guide here. One of the most impressive ones we’ve tried is Automatic Pro, which can connect to 3G networks for free, locate your car even when it’s away from your phone, and call emergency services if you get in an accident. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can also enable the Automatic skill to talk to your car with Alexa.
To turn on the skill, head to this page on Amazon and click “Enable skill.”
Next, you’ll need to log into your Automatic account to give Alexa permission to talk to your car. Enter your email address and password for your Automatic account and click Log In.
After this, you can ask Alexa a few things about your car. Here are the commands that work with Automatic.
- “Alexa, ask Automatic where my car is.” This command will tell you the last place that your car parked. Unfortunately, if it’s currently driving somewhere, Alexa won’t be able to tell you where it is on the road, but you can always get live updates from the app.
- “Alexa, ask Automatic how much gas I have.” This will give tell you what percent of your gas tank is full. This is most handy to check if you’re not sure if you need to hit the gas station on the way to work.
- “Alexa, ask Automatic how far I drove last week/month/year.” This one is a little less practical, but still useful if you’re curious. Ask Alexa how much you drive and Automatic will tell you how many hours and miles you drove over the specified time frame. Warning: it might be depressing to find out how much of your time is spent sitting in traffic.
The Automatic skill is a little barebones, but the few features it does have are exactly the kind of things you’d need from Alexa. The next time you’re about to leave for work, you can ask whether you need to get gas and adjust accordingly, or you can find out where your kids’ car is so you can pester them to get home for dinner.