mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Friday, 18 November 2005

TripSense

Just got an e-mail from Progressive, who want people to sign up for Tripsense;

What driving habits determine whether you’re a safer driver than others? We’re trying to determine that with TripSense, Progressive’s innovative program that collects driving data about mileage, speed and trip times which, when the program is rolled out, will be used to provide customers with a more accurate insurance rate.

The TripSense program is still in the research stage, so we’re looking for policyholders to volunteer and to help us collect more driving information from vehicles across the country. We’ll send you a TripSensor that you plug into your car and forget about until it’s time to unplug it and send it to us. When you send the device back to us, will give you $50 for helping us with our research. The results will not affect your insurance rate; we just want to know how you drive — and we won’t even know that until you send us the info.

Basically, it looks like a USB dongle that also plugs into your car’s automagic interface plug. Very innovative of Progressive. The testing they’re doing is obviously the first step; as they refine the techniques, expect it to become more common, and eventually, perhaps required.

So, horrible, big-brother invasion of privacy and “freedom”, or handy way bring some justice to often arbitrary insurance fees? Is the comparison to using genetic testing for health insurance valid (I don’t think so)? I must say, anything that would avoid my insurance fees going up when some other idiot hits me would be welcome.


11 Comments

Richard Veryard said:

Can you say more about automagic? Is this a service-oriented platform? Does it have any connection with NetworkCar (which is, I understand, based on WebLogic)?

Friday, November 18 2005 at 2:26 AM

mel said:

would it work on a 1994 Cadillac? Exactly how and to what is it connected? Could a car owner do it without a mechanic’s help?

Monday, November 28 2005 at 3:23 AM

Salvador Minguijon said:

More info about “Pay as you drive” projects http://terra.es/personal/smp00000/home_archivos/Pay_as_you_drive_directory.htm

Monday, February 27 2006 at 2:01 AM

Heather said:

It might not be big brother today, but it’s probably close in the works to becoming as such. I say this because if the government wants to know where you are at then if not now, eventually they will find out. I.e. if the government wants to make a highway where you live, they can take your house; they also have the ablitily to freeze your accounts, check your email, see what movies you have rented, etc…. In my opinion this is just another way of the a possible invation of the government (by the way which works for us and somehow seems to think it in the best interest to occationally work against us.) or anyone else who can get a hold of the information that could be used against us. TripSence is creepy. Could be used for good, but none the less creepy. I would rather pay a little higher for my insurance to assure my freedom then have it cost in the end.

Thursday, April 6 2006 at 2:49 AM

Grasshopper said:

How does it know when my brother uses my car. I did not know my car had an automagic interface plug.

Friday, November 17 2006 at 5:14 AM

bryan lall said:

I have to agreed with heather on this. this is just another way they used in othe to take away alittle more of our freedom. Its always better to pay a little more and save yourself and secure your own freedom…although the girl is prtty on the cover.. but that would not make me give my freedom up. bryan

Friday, September 28 2007 at 8:24 AM

Isaiah said:

How do u get it plugged in the car? Or it’s just throwing it inside, anywhere.

Thursday, February 28 2008 at 12:36 PM

anon Dave said:

odbII port All cars/trucks made after 1996 have it little black rectangular connector beneath your dash

scary stuff, this WILL definitely be required one day to get car insurance limit is 55 and you do 56, instant ticket in the mail how about that I’m sure its worth the $8 dollars or so a month your save (read somewhere it will only save you up to $100 per year($8.33 per month)

Wednesday, August 13 2008 at 6:01 AM

Balaji said:

ppl.. this device can be plugged into the car’s OBD port. It is so simple that it can be done by yourself. And I DOES NOT TRACK where you are instead, tracks the car’s parameters like the engine performance, temperature, speed, etc..

Tuesday, September 23 2008 at 5:32 AM

Franklyn Galusha said:

I would be interested in participating, I was doing some research for a client when I came across your web page.

I’m currently working for callhig.com an insurance provider in Central Florida. I drive quite a bit visiting clients.

It would be nice to make a couple of dollars in the process especially if it isn’t difficult to install!

Looking forward to hearing from you Franklyn Galusha

Friday, May 8 2009 at 2:07 AM

Dustin Dawind said:

I’ve been using TripSense for about a year here in MI. I save about 18% off my policy with it, mainly because I almost never drive at the highest risk times (something like 2-4 AM).

The sensor is extremely easy to install in your car (just plug it in near the pedals, no need to remove any panels, unscrew anything, etc.). As anon Dave said, if you have a 96 or newer car, the port is right there waiting for it.

I’m not too worried about the eventual possibility of getting speeding tickets from it. For one, there’s no GPS in it (now) so they have no idea what the speed limit was where you were driving. And, if the gov really wanted to nail people, they could start automatically giving speeding tickets on toll roads when your entry and exit times show that you were going too fast.

Sunday, May 24 2009 at 2:19 AM

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