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New Apps Let You Track Your Own Driving, If That's What You Want

Illustration for article titled New Apps Let You Track Your Own Driving, If Thats What You Want

When you trying to take care of you, you might use an app like Runkeeper, which can track your own exercise and consumption levels. What if you wanted that on your car, though?


Mobile apps for your smartphone being developed now like Dash and Automatic will soon allow you to track your own driving for things like average speed, miles per gallon, whether or not you've engaged in a little hard braking, and they'll even save maps of your entire driving route, according to Fast Company. The apps can then score you on how splendid your driving was that day, and can then compare you to people you know, because if there's anything you wanted to give your mother this year it's another way for her to compare you to your siblings.


The apps work by plugging a little dongle into the Onboard Diagnostics port (OBD) that every new car has been mandated to have since 1996. Usually your mechanic uses it to see that your engine is completely falling apart when the Check Engine light is on, but it can actually spit out a whole bunch of data about what exactly it is you're doing in your car.

This all sounds well and good, I suppose, but to me there's something incredibly creepy about it. In this day and age of NSA spying and constant surveillance and targeted marketing, I'm not sure I'd want another thing spying on me. That's still to say little of the implication that insurance companies (or others) could use the data against you to raise your rate if they don't like it, or for the police to potentially use a map of your driving route against you as evidence in a case, or a whole host of other things that become possible with these apps.

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the potential downsides? Let us know below in the comments!

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I think Prius owners will flock to these in number.