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Automatic connected car service ends May 28

The dongle-based connected car service offered tech like crash detection and recall alerts to older vehicles.

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Automatic, but no longer for the people.
Automatic

SiriusXM's connected car service Automatic is kicking the bucket at the end of May due to an inability to weather the COVID-19 outbreak, according to an announcement Friday by the company.

The service got its start in its current form in 2017 and used a dongle that plugged into the OBD-II port on your 1996-and-later car, paired with an app, to offer services like crash detection and vehicle health alerts on cars that didn't offer them from the factory.

The company's announcement states that customers will continue to have full support and functionality until 11:59 p.m. PT on May 28, at which point the whole thing will go dark. Automatic customers are encouraged to dispose of their dongles responsibly via their area's generally accepted e-waste recycling practices.

Automatic is offering rebates to customers for services and hardware purchased prior to April 30 of this year. The catch is that the rebate only applies to customers who bought their Automatic units themselves. If it was a part of a car deal -- which is likely given Automatic's partnership with the massive AutoNation network of dealers -- then you're out of luck, pal.

What are you supposed to do if you really liked the Automatic service, and you want to find some kind of a replacement for it? Well, Verizon offers its Hum unit, which provides similar service to Automatic, and Zubie offers a dongle focused mostly on vehicle tracking. If you just want the diagnostic functions of Automatic, things are easier because there are lots of Bluetooth OBD-II dongles available from sites like Amazon.

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