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Automatic Pro adapter gives your car a 3G data connection with no subscription

automatic pro launch smart adapter car ( nd generation)
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Companies are racing to make your older cars smart. To that end, Automatic just launched a pretty hefty update to its car adapter that plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostics port. The new adapter has a 3G connection and doesn’t require you to make subscription payments.

The new adapter is called the Automatic Pro, and it carries on Automatic’s tradition of not charging a subscription. The price for the device is $130, and that’s all you’ll have to pay to use it with Automatic’s app for the first five years.

In addition to the new adapter, a new companion app has also been launched. To use it, you’ll need the new adapter, while users of the old adapters will continue to use the old app. The new app brings a number of great new features, such as customizable notifications, more integration with IFTTT, and more.

Of course, the move away from the adapter using the phone’s internet connection over Bluetooth and toward having a 3G connection of its own is a big step — now the adapter will be able to communicate with the app whether you’re driving or not. It also means that the app won’t use up your phone’s data.

The new data connection could also help improve smart home capabilities. For example, Automatic could alert your home that you’re leaving for the morning, telling Nest to shut off the heating and telling Philips to shut off the lights. Then, the opposite could happen when you get back home. Automatic could already do those things through your phone, but with a 3G connection of its own, it will be a little more reliable.

You can get Automatic Pro for yourself starting Wednesday from the Automatic website. It will also be available at Best Buy in the near future.