MetroMile: The Metronome Device Arrives

About a week ago I found out about MetroMile, a new type of car insurance that lets you purchase coverage by the mile. The service seems to be ideal for those living in large cities, or areas with lots of public transportation… and particularly for those who drive under 10,000 miles per year.

In addition to the insurance angle, there’s also a device (called the Metronome) that you can plug into your car’s diagnostic port, and that hooks in to an iPhone app. With the Metronome, you can get information on your engine’s health, and find out things like gas mileage, etc. There are also city-specific features (if you live in Chicago, you can get alerts regarding street sweeping, reminding you to move your car), as well as new features in the works.

I wrote to the company, asking if the device was free (it is), and whether I needed to be one of their insurance customers to use it (I do not). So on a whim, I decided to request one of these guys… and it arrived at the house yesterday.

As you can see from the packaging (and the official website) – pretty slick stuff.

The Metronome. Which goes to my car… somewhere.

The instructions are actually quite good (clean, simple). It’s just that I’ve never really looked for my car’s diagnostic port before (and really didn’t know that every car after 1996 has one).

Looking forward to trying this guy out. I suspect that even though the device is free, I’ll be receiving updates regarding how much my insurance would be were I to switch to MetroMile. Guessing they’re banking on enough early adopters who are interested in the data angle, who will eventually be swayed over by proof that they’re overpaying for insurance.

If you didn’t catch my earlier post, check out this TechCrunch article for a bit more background on the company and the service.

Haven’t plugged this guy in yet, but that’s mostly because I take the Metra to work. Next time I actually get in the car, I’ll set the thing up and take an initial test drive (which you need to do, to activate the service).

It’s funny in that I opened the mail late last night. And though I was jazzed to try out this new tech device, I really didn’t have anywhere I needed to go. And since I commute via Metra, it may be a while before I actually drive somewhere. In some ways, my delay in setting up the Metronome device is actually proof that I’m part of the company’s key demographic. Go figure.

Metromile: Tracking Your Car’s Data, and the Advent of Per-Mile Insurance

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