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