Automation is a car company tycoon game in which you design and build cars from scratch. It is you who designs everything from the very core that is the engine, over the chassis, to the suspension and the car's looks. Several games have tried this before... but were able to merely scratch the surface.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (92) - 84% of the 92 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (1,058) - 80% of the 1,058 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Mar 12, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We held back on launching Automation into Early Access until the game had a solid, fleshed-out core which the main tycoon part of the game will be based on. We also wanted to make sure we can offer enough content and polish to warrant presenting and selling the game to a larger audience.

Previously we offered an early access version of the game via our website, but this sales platform and distribution channel has been outgrown by the steadily increasing interest in the game, becoming complicated to manage for a small team like ours.

Finally launching the game on Steam Early Access makes possible to speed up development with any additional income, allowing for quicker content addition (car bodies, engines, etc.) than otherwise possible. It also allows us to get additional manpower to the team to tackle the huge job of game balancing and AI programming.

Last but not least, with the major milestones of completing the car designer and engine designer under our belt, the implementation of multiplayer features means using the Steam API for network communications, saving us a lot of double work associated with developing our own networking code first.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Completing the game and adding all content promised will likely take anywhere between one to two years. This may seem like a lot, but a complex game like Automation takes a small team a long time to make to the standard we do. Rest assured that we are confident of finishing all the promised features of Automation, even if it may take quite some time.

We're not known for being good with estimates, but always deliver and are good at avoiding feature creep. Our development process focuses on milestone builds that introduce new features every ~3-4 months and are both beta-tested and reasonably polished-up. Any major problems with these milestones are addressed quickly in hotfixes before we move on to the next milestone.

Quick Facts About Development:
  • Fully independent developer
  • Small 6-person team
  • 4 years of full-time development so far
  • First public demo released April 2012
  • Funded by preorders, 14000 sales before Steam Early Access
  • Modular development approach: 3 main parts, 2 are feature complete
  • Major updates every ~3-4 months
  • Focus on transparency, community contact and open discussion
  • Frequent YouTube & Facebook development updates

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“In Early Access our efforts go towards adding more detail to the tycoon and management part of the game. Once the campaign mode is fully playable, more content is added (engine types, car bodies, scenarios, multiplayer modes) and the game is polished up and balanced before it being considered complete.

Since Mid 2015, a portion of our team has been focused on porting Automation over to Unreal Engine 4, and the current version of everything besides the Lite Campaign is on Unreal, giving huge improvements in graphical quality, performance, UI design and general playablity, as well as giving us the developers the tools to develop Automation better, faster, and maintain it far into the future.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current Early Access version of the game has the following, fully functional and playable, yet content incomplete features:
  • Car Designer
  • Engine Designer
  • "Lite Campaign" simple Tycoon mode.
  • Car/Engine Sandbox Mode
  • 60+ Scenarios and Tutorials
  • 35+ Base Car Bodies
  • Tons of in-game videos and descriptions

    Please Note: The current Steam Early Access launch version contains a simplified "Lite Campiagn" version of the Tycoon gameplay. Future updates will add more detail and complexity to these aspects of the game.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes, by buying into Early Access you save around 15% and get the warm feeling you are helping a niche independent game dev.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We already do, we have a great active forum community, and we have an amazing core testing team recruited from the testers. If this really is the game you always dreamed of, you can help us make it.”
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Buy Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game


Recent updates View all (149)

July 27

Exporter Update Patch 2 (B180727)

In this second major patch for the Exporter Update there are plenty more fixes to all kinds of issues you have been pointing out and reporting on. Thank you for that! We've also implemented some quality of life features along with them.

Here you have the full changelog for B180727:

B180727 Features / Improvements
  • Implemented a simple database backup system, if corrupt, it loads the backup
  • Added camera rotation speed multiplier to settings menu
  • Added the "Save for Sharing" button at the end of the car designer
  • Added optional accessibility camera controls widget for car and engine designers
  • Added trim clone prompts to trim grid items
  • Improved car importing process to notify you of body and fixture issues
  • In car scenarios engine limits will now be checked independent of car items

B180727 Fixes
  • Fixed issue with fixture lock / unlock buttons being greyed out
  • Fixed level of detail issue where some engine materials switched at certain distance
  • Fixed roll angle warnings, now 8+ degrees is a Note, 10+ degrees a Warning
  • Fixed issue where changing a graphic setting reset the FPS cap
  • Fixed piston emission grades, they were backwards in the tooltip
  • Fixed steering assist weight being backwards in the tooltip
  • Fixed issue with fuel economy calculations for slow cars
  • Fixed issue where the engine runs backwards when power output hits 0 in engine test
  • Fixed missing chassis corrosion stats
  • Fixed engine graphics not showing up on low graphics settings when making a car
  • Fixed engineering time not increasing when upping Top End Quality
  • Fixed placement of brake graph info inlay
  • Fixed tire speed cost multiplier not going in discrete steps, shows in Top Speed tooltip
  • Fixed issue with switching from carburettor to injection systems
  • Fixed various smaller description text issues
  • Fixed issue with camera rotation speed changing with framerate
  • Fixed engine family vs. variant visibility options not being linked
  • Fixed car model vs. trim visibility options not being linked
  • Fixed cloned trims resetting their year to 2012

B180727 Exporter Fixes
  • Fixed issues with solid axle suspension geometry
  • Fixed (potentially) issue with materials and colors switching black to white, and similar
  • Fixed (potentially) issue with stalling automatics in BeamNG
  • Fixed hanging starter motor sound issue in BeamNG

From here on we are now focusing on the next big update, finishing the implementation of the Lite Campaign V3 into the UE4 version of Automation. Although, there might be another patch with fixes if required, it certainly would be a less impressive list of fixes.

We're also thinking of releasing a conent patch with more car bodies and fixtures half way to the next big update. We'll keep you in the loop as per usual.

22 comments Read more

July 20

Exporter Update Patch 1 (B180720)

The first patch for the Exporter Update comes with a lot of fixes both in Automation and the BeamNG exporter functionality. will also have an update out today to go along with this.

An Automation car on the Automation Test Track map in BeamNG.

For those of you who have technical issues exporting your cars, make sure you have tried the things mentioned in the Exporter Troubleshooting FAQ

Here is the list of changes:

B180720 Automation Additions
  • Added dialog and options for cloning of a trim
  • Implemented new part comparison tooltip style
  • Added active aero effect into sportiness brake fade test
  • Added tire speed rating and price info to Top Speed slider
  • Added tutorial video accessible in main menu
  • Added custom framerate limiter
  • Added "Race" suspension preset, replacing unnecessary "Custom" button
  • Made body variant view the default view in the model body selector
  • Made engine visibility option now open by default
  • Removed the confusing 'Paint' option from the top row of materials

B180720 Automation Fixes
  • Fixed issue with engine sounds disappearing when idle RPM was low
  • Fixed twin turbo not being selectable for boxers
  • Fixed (potentially) Windowed Mode not working properly
  • Fixed material not updating after backing out of the paint designer
  • Fixed disabling fixture bar when no fixture is selected, fixes undo function
  • Fixed (potentially) fixtures disappearing in rare cases after going into photoscene
  • Fixed model year not being able to be changed when only the engine block is selected
  • Fixed engine hold / revert functionality, and fixed bugs with it
  • Fixed rear engined cars will not show correct front suspension when set to leaf/coil
  • Fixed V-belts spawning on boxers before valves were selected
  • Fixed high body roll warnings coming up for too low angles
  • Fixed various bugs in part comparisons
  • Fixed game icon not showing up in taskbar

B180720 Exporter Fixes
  • Turbo Data output accuracy improved. Still not perfect though.
  • Simplified exported engine meshes and materials, increasing performance in Beam
  • Fixed bug with tire stiffness calculation as function of tire width
  • Fixed suspension stiffness issue (suspension was way too stiff in Beam)
  • Softenend damper rates outputted, stiffened ARB
  • Increased suspension travel by about 15%
  • Added more human friendly warning/error messages
  • Made changes to exhaust sounds
  • Fixed issue with paint shininess exporting
  • Fixed rear brake pad material not being set
  • Fixed reading's startup.ini for passing of relative paths
  • Fixed engine torque reaction nodes not being set
  • Braking Cooling Slider now ties into BeamNG brake venting coefficient
  • Changed the folder created in vehicles to not just be the car trim name
  • Added a driver cam to "00ssupercarlarge"

B180720 Launcher Changes
  • Launcher changed to have "Legacy" text over the Kee version graphic.
  • Legacy text added to buttons
  • Game Logs button added to launcher for easy access to log files to help with support tickets
  • Old Kee buttons now hidden behind an enable button
  • Ability to launch Kee version via Steam launcher options removed

B180720 Misc
  • Added some extra logging to try and find the culprit for a crash we cannot replicate

Thank you for continuing to report issues!
Enjoy :)
42 comments Read more
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Current Release Status

The current release contains the Car and Engine design aspects of Automation along with a simplified "Lite Campaign" version of the Tycoon gameplay. As well as an Open Beta of the Car and Engine design aspects of Automation built in Unreal Engine 4, giving major improvements in graphical quality, performance, playability and UI Design.

Currently we're hard at work on a new, improved, Unreal Engine based Campaign mode, coming soon!

Read the Early Access description for a full overview of what is finished so far, and check out out for regular development news updates -

About This Game

**NEW UPDATE**Drive Your Automation Cars In!

Automation will allow the player to become an armchair CEO - to build their own car company from the ground up. Create and run anything from a boutique supercar manufacturer to a mass-market multinational mogul. With powerful tools like the Engine Designer, the player can create cars and their engines in mind-boggling detail.

The grand campaign will start in the year 1946 and run until 2020, with the main goal being to build a successful, renowned car company from scratch. All types of car manufacturers can be led to success if managed properly; building the right image over the years is key. The player’s tasks are to design engines and cars, to manage factories, production, Research and Development, as well as advertising campaigns. In game, time advances at the pace the player chooses and pauses automatically for events and occurrences.

Automation is comprised of three major game components - the Engine Designer, the Car Designer and the Company Manager. These components are naturally strung together by the game’s goals, made to be user-friendly and intuitive to use. A multitude of tutorial missions, videos, and descriptive texts help car novices become experts. Almost infinite options give the player all the creative freedom to create unique cars with vastly different engines.

Automation also features an in-game exporter which allows you to export and drive your vehicles in The exporter is simple to use: design your car and engine in Automation, tune them to your liking, hit the export button, start up and your new car is right there in the vehicle list, with the aesthetics as well as many of the fine engineering and performance details of your car design simulated accurately


  • Extremely Deep, Technical, Creative – Experience unheard-of creative freedom in a highly technical, realistic gameplay experience revolving around building a car company from scratch. Go ahead and build your dream-car company!
  • Dynamic World Markets – Master realistically modeled dynamic markets, distribution, and demand. Try to cater to the needs of over 40 different target groups and their needs, or find your safe-haven niche in a cutthroat economic environment.
  • Flexible Car Designer – Design the cars you would have in your garage. Choose from diverse chassis types and materials, engine placements and drivetrain setups, gearboxes, suspensions, brakes, tyres, and finish off you design with fully customisable body types, looks and styles.
  • Highly Detailed Engine Designer – Delve into endless possibilities combining different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations, internals, head types, forced induction systems, fuel systems, headers and mufflers. All based on different 4-stroke petrol engine configurations: Inline 3, 4, 5, 6, V6, 8, 10, 12, 16, Boxer 4, 6.
  • Dynamic Engine Sounds - Turn up the volume and blast out the awesome fully adaptive, unique engine sounds that directly reflect your design choices.
  • Grand Campaign, Scenarios, Sandbox – Aim to dominate the world markets with your superior design skills in the grand campaign, play a quick scenario challenge, or just tinker away in sandbox mode to create the most insane engines ever.
  • Complex, yet Easy to Learn – While the game is highly technical, it is made easy to learn by means of well-illustrated in-game tutorial videos, detailed descriptive texts, as well as a multitude of tutorial scenarios.
  • Network Play – Play cooperatively with your friends or take your intuition for the perfect car design and challenge up to 7 human competitors in epic, multi-session network games.
  • Community – Join one of the most awesome and helpful communities out there, share stories about your exploits, talk to like-minded people, discuss your IRL car projects and engage in community challenges.

Drive Your Automation Cars In, Coming July 13th

The Automation team is stoked to announce that in collaboration with BeamNG we have created a simple-to-use, in-game exporter that allows you to drive your Automation cars in
On July 13th we will have a joint release with BeamNG, who are adding the Automation test track to their game! For more info, check out the official announcement posted here on Steam and the Exporter FAQ.

***IMPORTANT NOTE:*** The current version contains a simplified "Lite Campaign" version of the Tycoon aspects. More detailed Tycoon gameplay will be the focus of future major updates. Please read the Early Access description above for an overview of what is done so far. The current Open Beta is also an almost complete remake of the game in Unreal Engine 4, for a huge improvement in visuals, performance and usability. Currently the Lite Campaign is only available the legacy Non-Unreal version, but we're hard at work making a new improved Campaign mode.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Dual Core
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Support Shader Model 4.0 (Intel HD3000 Integrated, Geforce 8 Series, Radeon 2000 Series)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements for Ultra Low Settings. Framerate may be poor in some situations.
    • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
    • Processor: Recent Intel i5/i7 or AMD 6 core or better
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD 290x or nVidia 970GTX or Better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Additional Notes: System requirements for good frame rate Epic Settings. Solid State Drive highly recommended for best loading performance

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