What Happens When Santa Uses Automatic?

In 1955, Sears Roebuck & Co. famously misprinted a phone number in an ad for children to call Santa Claus. Instead of reaching the Santa stand-ins at the Sears call center, the children reached CONAD, the Continental Aerospace Defense Command. CONAD staff took the calls and checked their radar to see where Santa was on his dash around the globe. The kids that called in were given updates on Santa’s location.

In 1958, North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD was created, and they kept the tradition alive.


We began to wonder, “How does Santa feel about being tracked by world governments? How does he get around the world so fast? Would he be willing to share his secrets with us?”

We gave Santa a call, and luckily for us, Santa is a gadget guy.

Santa loves data as much as we do


St. Nick drives a specially made surface-to-air sleigh, a 2015 Rangifer Tarandus Mach IV, that runs on Christmas spirit and a whopping 9 RP (that’s reindeer power, for you casuals). What’s nice for us is that every sleigh built after 1996 has an OBD-II port just under the reins, to the left of the hot cocoa dispenser.

Santa plugged in an Automatic adapter and the data we got was eye-opening. Because we’ve been ‘Nice’ this year, Santa’s gift to us was permission to show you his data.

Drive Score Analysis: We don’t want to give too much away about how we calculated his Drive Score, we’ve got a business to run, you know! Let’s just say that St. Nick’s Drive Score is off the charts.

As you might expect, we had to score Santa in a different way than we calculate the score for mere mortals. Santa traveled for 32 hours above speeds of 70 MPH, but because of his heightened Christmas spirit, and specially made sleigh, his fuel efficiency wasn’t affected by the high speeds.

Beyond that fuel-efficiency infraction, Santa only had one (continuous) Hard Accel and no Hard Brakes over the period of 32 hours. This resulted in the most fuel-efficient ride recorded by an Automatic user to date!

Santa’s Insights page is impressive

santa-insights-page copy

Santa’s Insights page might look a little different than your Insights page.

Santa’s driving style is a unique one; he’s a Speedy Snowman. We had to tweak our data collection just a bit to accomodate Santa’s Christmas Eve trip, and we think we’ve captured all relevant metrics. What do you think? Surprised that Santa falls in the middle of the Naughty/Nice scale? Did you expect him to be more patient climbing down chimneys?

We asked Santa to comment on his activities, but after several minutes of ho-ho-ho’ing and discussing regional differences in cookie recipes, we gave up. Some mysteries are better left unsolved.

Exploring Santa’s journey in Automatic Labs


Santa’s favorite thing about Automatic are the new Automatic Labs projects. Above is the Hyperlapse Generator, a Lab Project we developed that allows users to re-live any past drives with Google Streetview imagery of the route stitched into a time-lapse video.

Also in the Labs, you can find a Heatmap of your trips, a Carbon Calculator, and the Commute Analyzer. Check it out here, and make sure to sign-in so you’re seeing your personal data.

Happy Holidays From Automatic!

We hope you’re all having a great holiday season, and we wanted to thank you for helping us have a great year.

Stay warm, drive safe, and drive on!