Progressive Insurance has been testing a program called TripSense that uses a small device (called the TripSensor oddly enough) that plugs it into your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostic (OBDII) port usually is located just under the steering column that tracks information about individual trips (from engine start to engine shutoff), and includes the following data:
- Start time
- End time
- Miles driven
- Number of aggressive braking events
- Number of aggressive acceleration events
- Speed at 10-second intervals
- Time and date of each connection/disconnection to the OBDII port
Periodically the driver would unplug the device and connect it to their PC via USB and send the data to Progressive, which then evaluates it, aggregates it with other driver data and determines what discount you may qualify for.
Progressive is offering a 5% discount on premiums just for using the device with promises of additional discounts of up to 25% based upon the data you provide. Of course they probably don’t promote the idea that your rates could actually go up if you drive poorly or a lot.
Progressive claims that information on aggressive braking/acceleration events are not used in the discount calculation. Stating that this information in order to better understand if it is predictive of future accidents.
Think of the data that progressive could have if all of its insured drivers provided this information (which according to Progressive is optional – drivers in the TripSense program can review the data (with charts and graphs) on their computers before determining whether to send it and qualify for additional discounts or not. By extensive use of this and future programs Progressive could have the most accurate data on driving habits possible.
Of course there are privacy concerns and concerns over how this data could be used. For more on that aspect of the program the Minneapolis Star Tribune has written a recent article.