State Farm’s RightLane: New App Tracks Driving, Saves on Insurance
RightLane is an Android app currently in beta testing by State Farm. This application is likely a response to the Progressive Snapshot program. Snapshot by Progressive is a device that plugs into the vehicle’s diagnostic port and tracks driving behavior. It tracks everything from speed to the time-of-day the vehicle is in operation. If the driver is safe during the program, according to the device, Progressive will discount the driver’s insurance by up to 30%.
Details are not yet available about mainstream use of the RightLane app, but State Farm is currently offering beta testers a $50 gift card for taking part in the demo. In order to participate in the test, the beta tester must drive a minimum of 500 miles over a period of 25 days. The tester must also have an Android phone running 4.0 or newer and a Bluetooth device in the vehicle.
The RightLane app is definitely a different approach to tracking driving. The Snapshot device from Progressive plugs directly into the vehicle and receives power from the vehicle. The Snapshot device also reads the odometer directly from the vehicle, making it more difficult to cheat the system by removing the device. RightLane will depend on the phone being charged and would not know the mileage of the vehicle.
The advantage of the RightLane is that it would track the driver and not the vehicle. If the driver shares a vehicle with another family member, the results would only reflect the driver. Also, if the driver does not want to be tracked, the phone could be turned off. Since the system is not public yet, it is unclear if disabling the tracking will affect the results and premium discount available.
The RightLane could conceivably offer more extensive tracking than Snapshot. Since the app runs on the phone, it could conceivably track texting while driving. With all the talk of distracted driving lately, it would not be a surprise that State Farm would want to reward people for not doing, and potentially punish those who do.