Since we’ve gone live, we’ve heard from a number of our customers that they’ve enjoyed checking their driving scores, trying to improve them, and seeing how their driving controls their bill.
But we’ve also gotten questions, like “Why did my bill change when my scores didn’t?” So we knew we had some work to do, both in better communicating and updating the app to show more scores.
Before, the four scores shown were acceleration, braking, cornering, and speed. Some additional information on how much you were driving was in the app, but not presented as a score. The new driving scores we added are:
It’s pretty simple; the more you’re on the road, the more your chances of something happening (you may be a great driver, but other people might hit you).
This includes nighttime driving (daytime is safer, because of better visibility and fewer tired or drunk drivers), and city versus open roads.
With these six, you’ll have a very accurate picture of how your driving affects your bill. If you’re not a customer yet, maybe you know the general idea of HiRoad:
We trust that you’re a good driver;
we want to recognize and reward you,
and our app is how we do that.
(Just like maps or ride-sharing, our app uses the GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope already built into your phone.) The initial version of the app had four scores shown: acceleration, braking, cornering, and speed.
You might be wondering why we’re adding two more scores. It’s because we heard customer comments like “The more details the better” and “I’d like to see more driving behavior categories.” Or another question, “Will this change my discount?” (Nope!) But in addition to responding to customer comments, adding the new scores is also a good opportunity to discuss why we’re here in the first place, with a comparison to step counting.
There’s an old saying in business: “What gets measured gets managed.” Not long ago, nobody was measuring steps. But when fitness trackers came along, they gave us the tools to measure our steps, and the perspective that measuring our steps mattered.
This changed how we think about ourselves: now connecting steps to wellness is commonplace. Few would debate that being more aware of your steps is connected to being healthier. Where HiRoad connects is that we believe that driving is to a society what steps are to the individual.
HiRoad aims to do for driving what step counting did for wellness
The challenge — and the opportunity — is that where we are today with driving is where we were with step counting before fitness trackers: like walking, driving is a part of daily life, but not something we think about much. It’s just there. If we do think about driving, it’s only with a few thumbnail metrics: how often we fill up our gas tank, how many accidents we’ve had or tickets we’ve gotten.
Thing is, those stats may be a very incomplete picture of mindful driving, nor do they connect driving with things like our self-worth or being a good member of a community.
So that’s where we come in. Getting back to the business adage, we believe your driving is worth measuring — and not with fill-ups or tickets, but with true driving behavior. With these scores, we first want to provide an objective answer to the question “What’s good driving?” Second (extending the fitness tracker comparison), we believe that these scores will help all of us take the next step beyond simply managing our driving, which is being mindful of it.
Keeping score = creating awareness
What’s mindful driving? On the surface, it’s things like gradual acceleration, smooth braking, gentle cornering — and driving less (behaviors that will maximize your driving discount if you’re a HiRoad customer). But those are the easy part. What can be harder is avoiding distractions, not texting or spacing out. But ultimately, since the biggest factor in your accident chances is the amount you drive, it’s good to be mindful about how much you are driving and find opportunities to drive a little less if it works with your lifestyle.
That future — where all of us are being more thoughtful about how we get around — is one where we hope driving scores are just as well-known as other measures of a healthy or mindful lifestyle, like shopping local or fair trade, carbon offsets, step counts or resting heart rate. (Spoiler alert: measuring driving is just where we’re starting.)
As we work toward this more mindful future, we look forward to building things with you! And as always, thanks for taking the HiRoad.