Automatic, the company that makes smart car adapters, has bad news for its customers. The company is killing its original first and second-gen (Legacy and Silver) adapters. Along with the Automatic’s car adapters (first and second-gen), the tech company is also scrapping the apps that allowed users to communicate with the hardware.
Automatic’s car adapters to become useless
In the FAQ page, Automatic notes that its Legacy and Silver adapters (first and second-gen) will stop working after August 31, 2019. The app and device in question is the Classic app and adapter, which were introduced in 2013. Automatic’s second-gen car adapters will also be useless after August. It must be noted that the second-gen version has been on the market for just four years.
“…..the Classic adapter and app will no longer be supported after August 31, 2019. After that date, the 1st and 2nd Gen adapters will no longer work.” the company says.
Explaining why it took such a decision, the company says “there have been many advances in technology since then, especially in mobile phones. While we have loved this device and enjoyed creating it, it’s time to say goodbye.”
Also, the company cites the “expense of maintaining apps on legacy technology” as another reason for ending the original Automatic car adapters.
Automatic’s decision will come as a big blow to the users of the first and second-gen car adapters. In one go, the company has turned a useful piece of hardware, which cost users $100, into junk.
Pushing users toward latest product
With such a move, the company is unofficially forcing users toward its latest $100 LTE adapter, which comes with an optional $5 premium subscription plan.
Detailing the new adapter, called CCA (Connected Car Assistant), on the FAQ page, the company says that it comes with several features, including Crash Alert, which allows responders to contact the driver and his or her emergency contacts when a serious collision occurs.
Further, the CCA adapter also helps the driver by sending towing and roadside assistance when needed. Also, the adapter can keep a driver connected to family and help in locating the car in a crowded parking lot.
Moreover, the CCA adapter also helps in monitoring vehicle performance and identifies issues (if any) with the vehicle when the check engine light is on. A user can also integrate the adapter with other smart systems, such as turning on the lights at home, opening the garage door, adjusting the thermostat and more when you are on the way home.
As said before, the hardware costs $100, while the premium subscription plan (optional) costs $5 per month. The premium service is free for the first six months. Those who don’t want the premium service can go for the Select Service, which is free for three years.
On what will happen after three years, the company says it will inform the users about the “plan information and feature updates with emails and app notifications, and while we don’t plan on charging a service fee after the 3 years we reserve the right to make changes if we need to.”
The Select Service does not include several premium features such as Roadside Assistance, Smart Home Integrations and more. For more details on the two plans, visit this link.
An unfair decision?
On its FAQ page, the company tries to answer a few queries that users may have. Talking about what happens to user data after August, the company says it will be “safely and securely” stored in their servers provided users maintain their account with the company. Users who wish to delete their account, can do so by emailing the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Automatic informs that the Classic app is no longer available in the Play Store. For users who want to reinstall the app for retrieving account data or reactivating the service until the August deadline, they need to contact the support team for help.
It is common among tech companies to replace or even end apps, but killing hardware or making it useless is certainly a rarity. Also, companies that end support for a particular product usually allow users to continue using it. Apple is a good example of this. The iPhone maker usually stops supporting a few iPhones with the new OS, but that does not render the devices useless.
So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Automatic is being unfair to the users. Do let us know in the comments section below what you feel about this decision from Automatic.