Chad’s Blog

Dude, where's my car?

By the end of the day, I tend to forget where I parked my car in the morning. I park in one of several locations when I go into the office. None are further than a half mile from my work, but they’re in different directions. Not wanting to walk around Portsmouth all night looking for my car, I made myself this little hack to help me remember where I parked.

Here’s the tech stack:

  1. Automatic: Connected Car Adapter
  2. IFTTT
  3. Google Maps

Automatic is a gizmo that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port. It fits most cars and records all kinds of great data. It’s a helpful device, if you drive a lot. It can help you visualize and understand what the miles really mean to the environment, and how much time you spend driving.

I tie Automatic to IFTTT, which is an automation software. I could write a million posts on IFTTT, it is so awesome. I’ll keep this one short though.

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. As in, If a particular “this” happens in one app, then do a particular “that” in another.

In other words, the IFTTT iOS app lets you connect apps to each other. For example, I connected the weather app to my messages, and now, every day at 630AM I get message of that days forecast. I’ve got another recipe (that’s what IFTTT calls these connections) that will send every photo I snap on my iPhone to a specific spot in my Dropbox.

I’d really like to have the text message sent to me when I leave work, not right after I park. iOS reminders have the ability to remind you when you get to or leave a known location, so I may try to wire this up to the Reminders app, and not a text message. But this works nicely for now. Give it a try and never forget where you parked again.

Current Status: Opening and connecting.