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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi -

[Yes, I had a ticket not that long ago, so that is part of why some of these things are on my mind, but setting aside that embarrassment, it seemed like a set of ideas worth floating.]

I suggest tracking:

- percent of miles traveled using cruise control (this is how the idea started, it wasn't really meant to be about safety monitoring, I just became curious how many miles other Volt drivers use the feature).
- maybe also percent of miles traveled within posted speed limit, percent above, and percent unknown.
- number of traffic violations (only with consent of driver)
- work with insurance companies to define substantial discounts.

Part of the point
- insurance companies might be amenable to offering real discounts
- some of the psychology may change (just as it does for some drivers who try to maximize EV miles) so that folks are trying to achieve very high safety scores.

Cruise Control:
Regardless of the safety/intrusive part of this suggestion, I think monitoring for % miles driven under cruise control might simply be an interesting stat.

[Edit]:

Maybe add to this suggestion some indication of how often the warning type systems (stay in lane, proximity of objects, vehicle ahead too close, etc.) are engaged, and how often they lead to warnings. One reservation here is I am not sure that frequency of warnings means a person is driving less safely. I don't know. My collected suggestions here might be perceived as somewhat Orwellian, and I'm not sure how to address that. Some of them might be limited by a stronger confidentiality agreement perhaps? Or maybe GM already collects some or all of this information? If the latter, then I guess my suggestion is to meet drivers partway and let them see a bit more of it if it might help them drive more safely.
 

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I use my cruise control on long trips when it safe to do so (Toronto to Tampa for example). Dense traffic around urban centers (Atlanta is a good example) is not safe since I don't have fancy semi autonomous features. I'd guess that I get to use CC about 75% of the time on Interstates. I find the 2012 cruise does not keep speed properly when descending hills. I'm not used to that.
 

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I think you can do authorize Onstar to send data to at least some insurance companies. IIRC, what insurers look at is pretty simple, strong acceleration or deceleration events.

Re: tickets - the Bolt's acceleration is a rush- it takes discipline not to just floorboard it to the 92 mph top speed on a freeway entrance ramp.

Edit: Here's the Onstar program

• Enroll: Accept the terms of the Insurance Discount Eligibility feature and enroll.

• Drive: We’ll compile a 90-day sample of your driving data.

• Qualify: Without revealing your identity or vehicle location (other than state), we’ll submit your driving data to participating insurance companies, which include Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. We’ll contact you to let you know if those carriers would offer you a discount based on your driving.

• Save: Select the offers that interest you, and go to that insurer’s website to identify yourself, complete the quote and decide whether to accept their personalized offer.
 

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Some insurance companies offer add-on OBD modules to measure similar things like this.
If you keep your top speed mostly under x, don't have hard accel/decel, drive in off-peak hours, etc they will give you discount on rates.

I'm not sure if Onstar would bother with this sort of thing when the insurance companies are already managing their own devices.
 

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I like your ideas, but at this point they can't even get what little telemetry they *do* have via OnStar to work properly, much less anything new.
 

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A number of insurance companies are offering rates that seem to be based on data they gather from a "dongle" you plug into your OBD2 port. Perhaps some of the data you mention is among that gathered for insurance purposes. One program, I seem to recall, tracks items such as incidents involving excessive speeds or panic-type stops to help you evaluate your driving.

Some of the appeal of such offers is a reduction in rates for low-annual-mileage drivers (reduced miles would likely reduce the chances of accidents)... such gadgets might be using GPS to track your travel distances, but coordinating where you are at any given moment with the speed you’re going and the posted rate of speed would require access to a good deal of information that is not maintained within the car itself.

I seem to recall there is a voluntary test program going on here in Oregon (or has it already ended?) that uses an OBD2 gadget to track your vehicle’s annual mileage, evaluating the feasibility of replacing the gas tax with a vehicle per mile tax to fund public road maintenance. Various objections have arisen, not the least of which is to what degree privacy would need to be invaded to determine how many of the annual miles driven were driven on roads outside of Oregon (i.e., your tax to be based on your use of Oregon roads)...

As for recording the percent of miles cruise control is engaged, would a "high percent of miles driven with cruise control engaged" reflect little more than a high percent of miles driven on the freeway? Do drivers who regularly use cruise control on the freeways also use it regularly at slower speeds, or is it unusual for a driver whose "cruise controls" it down the freeway to engage it in a 35 mph zone on a suburban street?

Some find freeway cruise control convenient, and restful for the accelerator pedal foot when driving cross country on restricted access highways, with cruise control engaged for an hour or more. Steady speeds do promote efficient fuel consumption. It would follow that a high percent of freeway miles might be driven using cruise control.

The "fuel efficiency" argument is less persuasive in non-highway environments. Engaging cruise control on slower streets with traffic lights and stop signs also seems to suggest the percent of time cruise control is engaged would be less per total distance driven. The miles driven using cruise control on non-freeway streets would likely normally be a lower percent of the total non-highway miles driven. And the less one is inclined to use cruise control off the freeway, the greater the percent of miles that cruise control is engaged are miles spent driving at freeway speeds.

I myself often use my 2012 Volt’s cruise control in 35, 30, and even 25 mph speed zones on the Portland suburban streets... don’t need to look at my speedometer as often, traffic is usually light enough to allow it, and speed zone distances allow it (if you can hit the traffic lights right)... I wish it were possible to set the speed at 20 mph for the school zones...

My sister in Michigan, on the other hand, rarely, if ever, uses cruise control, even on the freeways. Am I overdoing it, and she underutilizing it?
 

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I myself often use my 2012 Volt’s cruise control in 35, 30, and even 25 mph speed zones on the Portland suburban streets... don’t need to look at my speedometer as often, traffic is usually light enough to allow it, and speed zone distances allow it (if you can hit the traffic lights right)... I wish it were possible to set the speed at 20 mph for the school zones...

My sister in Michigan, on the other hand, rarely, if ever, uses cruise control, even on the freeways. Am I overdoing it, and she underutilizing it?
I too am a consistent user of cruise control. For me, it's easy and sensible because I'm one of those "idiots" that tends to drive pretty much bang on the speed limit as a maximum. Since I basically NEVER end up having to pass anyone, I never have to brake to wait for a passing opportunity, which means once I'm on a road, I'm only tapping up and down the set speed, or braking for traffic lights if there are any. A friend I discuss driving with regularly HATES cruise control, but he's also one those "maniacs" that isn't happy unless he's 15-20% above the posted speed limit, and he's CONSTANTLY having to change speeds, lanes, and brake regularly due to holes he thought were there turn out to be too small. His driving style simply is utterly incompatible with cruise control if there's another vehicle within a mile or two of him.
 

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Maybe add to this suggestion some indication of how often the warning type systems (stay in lane, proximity of objects, vehicle ahead too close, etc.) are engaged, and how often they lead to warnings. One reservation here is I am not sure that frequency of warnings means a person is driving less safely. I don't know. My collected suggestions here might be perceived as somewhat Orwellian, and I'm not sure how to address that. Some of them might be limited by a stronger confidentiality agreement perhaps? Or maybe GM already collects some or all of this information? If the latter, then I guess my suggestion is to meet drivers partway and let them see a bit more of it if it might help them drive more safely.
Parental control is a big target for this kind of data. Making sure the teenager is not driving too aggressively (jackrabbit and hard braking, and fast corners). There is some phone apps that let you track this data too. ie. kid, you have to install this app if you want to use the parents car.

I too am a consistent user of cruise control. For me, it's easy and sensible because I'm one of those "idiots" that tends to drive pretty much bang on the speed limit as a maximum. Since I basically NEVER end up having to pass anyone, I never have to brake to wait for a passing opportunity, which means once I'm on a road, I'm only tapping up and down the set speed, or braking for traffic lights if there are any. A friend I discuss driving with regularly HATES cruise control, but he's also one those "maniacs" that isn't happy unless he's 15-20% above the posted speed limit, and he's CONSTANTLY having to change speeds, lanes, and brake regularly due to holes he thought were there turn out to be too small. His driving style simply is utterly incompatible with cruise control if there's another vehicle within a mile or two of him.
I really like cruise control as well but I absolutely love "Adaptive Cruise Control" (Traffic Aware CC in the Tesla terms). The ability to just set your speed and have it adjust to cars distance ahead of you seems like a great safety feature (2+ second rule).

I was disappointed that the Gen 2 Volt was release without ACC (allowed them to meet delivery dates tho) and then their tech caught up and put it on.

... I find the 2012 cruise does not keep speed properly when descending hills. I'm not used to that.
Using L will correct that.
I love using L for highway driving for that reason. As well you can click CC down and have it slow down quickly. i.e. before ACC one Gen 2 and all of Gen 1s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you can do authorize Onstar to send data to at least some insurance companies. IIRC, what insurers look at is pretty simple, strong acceleration or deceleration events.

Re: tickets - the Bolt's acceleration is a rush- it takes discipline not to just floorboard it to the 92 mph top speed on a freeway entrance ramp.

Edit: Here's the Onstar program

• Enroll: Accept the terms of the Insurance Discount Eligibility feature and enroll.

• Drive: We’ll compile a 90-day sample of your driving data.

• Qualify: Without revealing your identity or vehicle location (other than state), we’ll submit your driving data to participating insurance companies, which include Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. We’ll contact you to let you know if those carriers would offer you a discount based on your driving.

• Save: Select the offers that interest you, and go to that insurer’s website to identify yourself, complete the quote and decide whether to accept their personalized offer.
Thanks, good to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I like your ideas, but at this point they can't even get what little telemetry they *do* have via OnStar to work properly, much less anything new.
Agreed. A separate suggestion to GM has to be simply "Please fix OnStar".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Regarding a few points:

- Regarding some of the interesting and nuanced points that have been made about cruise control:
- I also find it useful now to drive in L mode and with cruise control. I do this both at highway speeds and on 25 and 35 mph roads, though I have to be careful and drive just with my foot such as if there is traffic.
- My reason for mentioning cruise control originally was not about insurance or even necessarily about safety - I just thought it would be interesting to know what percent of the time I and other drivers use this device.
- I think part of the reason to use cruise control is simply that it helps me stay at a steady speed whereas driving with my foot and my mind, this is harder, on those stretches where a steady speed would be appropriate.

- Regarding the insurance companies looking for incidents where there was relatively sudden acceleration or deceleration - I had read something about that awhile back but had forgotten about it. Yes, it would be good to know this about myself.
 
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