Getting Started With Automatic: Automate Your Life With IFTTT

Turning your dumb car into a smart car has never been easier. When you connect your vehicle to the Internet with Automatic, you can automate a range of connected devices that you use every day. And the best way to get started is IFTTT.

So what is IFTTT? It stands for “If This Then That”, and it’s a way to make one service you use (like Automatic) connect with dozens of other services or devices.

Let’s say Automatic detects a check engine light. IFTTT can recognize it and automatically make a task on your to-do list. Or if you have a Philips Hue connected lightbulb in your home, you can set it to automatically come on when you turn off your car in the driveway.

To get started, create a free account at Once you’ve signed in, click on “Channels” in the upper right hand corner of the IFTTT site and search for “Automatic”.

Click on the icon and you’ll be asked to “Connect Channel”. When you do so, you’ll enter your Automatic username and password to authorize IFTTT integration, and you’re off to the races!

IFTTT runs on Recipes. Basically if Automatic says something — like completing a trip or arriving at a specific location — it triggers whatever action you’ve enabled through IFTTT.

Let’s walk through making a basic recipe that sends you an email if you get a check engine light.

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First, click on “Recipes” in the upper right-hand corner.

Then click “Create a Recipe”.

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Click “This” and search for the Automatic channel, then click the Automatic icon.

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Now select a Trigger. In this example, we’ll select “Check engine light turned on”.

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Now click “Trigger” and you’ll get to the “That” part of the Recipe.

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In the search bar, type “email” and then select the “Email” option.

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Now select “Send me an email”.

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In the “Complete Actions Fields”, you’ll see the Subject and Body are already filled out with the car, date and time of the check engine light, and the diagnostic code message.

Click “Create Action” and you’re all set. Whenever your car’s check engine light comes on you’ll get an email.

And that’s just a simple Recipe.

Thankfully, the vibrant IFTTT community has pre-created recipes you can enact simply by searching for “Automatic” in Recipes.

Here are a few — okay, several — of our favorites:

IFTTT Recipe: Add iOS reminder if your check engine light comes on connects automatic to ios-reminders
IFTTT Recipe: Track new trip logs with Automatic in a Google Spreadsheet connects automatic to google-drive
IFTTT Recipe: When I start driving, launch Waze connects automatic to pushbullet
IFTTT Recipe: Save your trip maps with Automatic to Google Drive connects automatic to google-drive
IFTTT Recipe: Log your driving trips in Evernote connects automatic to evernote
IFTTT Recipe: Check Engine light (Automatic) creates a new High-Priority Todoist task  connects automatic to todoist
IFTTT Recipe: When my car arrives at store - check reminders for shopping list! connects automatic to ios-reminders
IFTTT Recipe: Turn your lights on when you arrive home connects automatic to philips-hue
IFTTT Recipe: Turn on Nest when car comes home connects automatic to nest-thermostat
IFTTT Recipe: When I leave home, turn down my thermostat connects automatic to nest-thermostat
IFTTT Recipe: Text my significant other when I'm on my way home from work connects automatic to android-sms

Play around with those and see how else you can use Automatic to automate other aspects of your life.