Road Charge Pilot Program: Data Points and Changing Behavior

Road Charge Pilot Program: Data Points and Changing Behavior
By Kelly Garman, Director of Government Affairs

**This is the fourth blog post I have written since being enrolled in California’s Road Charge Pilot Program. To read the first three posts, please click here, here and here**

It’s been 27 days since my last post, and in that time, I’ve done a lot of driving. Not only did I take a trip up to Chico (my first long drive since starting the pilot program), but due to kids and soccer and a relatively unsystematic approach to the summer months, there have been multiple extra trips around town.

As I drive, whether short or long distances, I find my mind wandering to the little green Azuga dongle plugged in under my dashboard. Did you know that more than my miles are being recorded? I purposefully chose a device that did not include GPS tracking, but as it turns out, there is still a great deal of data being collected.

As a pilot program participant, I have access to a cool, easy-to-understand online dashboard that reflects my travels-


On this dashboard, you’ll see that my battery and engine are running strong, and that I have a driving score of 89 (more on this later). You will also notice that I have $30.70 in my virtual wallet.* In next week’s Road Charge blog post, I will go into more detail about how the funds work (and whether or not I’d be paying more or less compared with the current tax I pay at the pump). For now, I simply want to walk through the data being collected and how awareness of this is changing my driving behavior.


Check this out –

This screen shot shows how Azuga records every trip I take and then shows me the cost of that trip, my average speed, if I idled or not, and what my carbon footprint was. Pretty incredible!

You’ll see in the above screen shot a list of “Events.” If I brake hard or accelerate very fast, this would be considered an “event,” and thus recorded as such. The driving score of 89, mentioned at the beginning of this post is a compilation of multiple individual scores, related to “events” such as idling, braking, acceleration, high speed, etc…




Does that make sense?

With all of this personal driving data at my fingertips, I find myself being very mindful when I drive. The competitive spirit in me wants to attain a high score (which means I need to idle less and brake and accelerate smoother). I wouldn’t consider myself a bad driver in the least, but seeing how every small action contributes to a data point, I am certainly more aware and focused on my driving.

Next time, I’ll explain the virtual driving badges I can earn (similar to Fitbit badges) and how the money in my virtual wallet is calculated. Until then, happy driving!

*No real money is exchanged, as this is a pilot program.

One thought on “Road Charge Pilot Program: Data Points and Changing Behavior

  1. I, too, am in the California Road Charge Pilot program, but I selected the least intrusive recording method: odometer readings. When I signed up in July, I downloaded an Android app and used it to snap a photo of my current odometer. The pilot program knows my odometer reading as of that date . . . and nothing else. They don’t know my speed, braking, idling, or anything like that. They don’t know where I’ve been or when I’ve gone. Easy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s