There’s good news for iPhone owners that use Automatic Lab’s connected car gadget: Automatic Link will now detect when your car is low on fuel and send a reminder to your iPhone to top off the tank.
Link plugs into the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port on any car made after 1996. It connects to your phone with Bluetooth and uses the vehicle’s control access network to ferret out all kinds of interesting information, from acceleration and braking patterns to engine diagnostics. The new feature in Automatic’s redesigned iOS app will now measure fuel tank levels and show them on the phone screen. It will also calculate how many miles your tank has left in based on your driving habits.
The app will then send out alerts, which the driver can customize. For instance, some drivers might want to receive an alert when the tank is quarter full. Other more aggressive drive-on-empty car owners may choose only to get alerts when they have only 20 miles of fuel left.
There is however one big caveat. Not all cars report their fuel levels through their ODB ports. Automatic estimates that about half of the cars currently connected to Link will support the fuel-level tracking feature. You can find out which makes and models will work with that part of the app on Automatic’s site.