Introducing Metromile’s Redesigned Smart Driving App

We made some major upgrades to our smart driving app, so we asked our Director of Product Design, Matt Stein, to share the inspiration behind everything.

I’m excited to see the newly redesigned Metromile app in the wild today, now available on iOS and Android. The primary goals of the redesign were to create a foundation that could be built on in the future, delight our growing user base, and provide the best experience possible for getting a holistic view of everything to do with your car.

A key component of the redesign process was understanding how the current app was being used. We ran a focused qualitative user study as well as a broader quantitative survey to give insight into what was working well and what could be improved. The primary theme was that our users want to have peace of mind about their car. They want to know where they last parked, what an engine light means, and the ability to dig into the details on a recent trip.

The Metromile app can be used by either our per-mile insurance customers or people who use the free app version. The app will track your trips, show you where you’re parked and alert you to street sweeping (select cities). For insurance customers, it decodes engine code warnings and allows them to contact our in-house mechanic.

All of the aforementioned features are fairly distinct, and one of the challenges in designing the app was coming up with a consistent pattern for the user to consume information, such as viewing trips, decoding warnings, or understanding how to get roadside assistance.

The following three principles guided the design:

  1. Create a scalable framework
  2. Provide information at a glance
  3. Make it fun

Create a scalable framework.

The app itself is split across four distinct areas: Car Health, Parking, Trips and Insurance. These four areas are displayed on the app’s main view via separate cards that allow the user to drill into a more detailed view. Because most of the app’s features are distinct and don’t overlap (e.g. Trips won’t overlap with Car Health), this design choice gave us the most flexibility when considering new product capabilities. Although our app contains a hamburger menu, it is mostly supplementary because 80% of the app’s functionality can be accessed through the overview. Settings and vehicle switching are the two exceptions.

One of the biggest challenges was ensuring the same design framework could be used across each view. After exploring various options, the team arrived at a card pattern that is fairly prevalent today. Users understand how to interact with cards, and they are easily accessible. Each of the primary views has a “hero” section highlighting the most important information as well as child cards that allow the user to dive deeper into an area. (more…)

Street Sweeping Alerts Now Available in Los Angeles & San Diego

Many of us are all too familiar with the sinking feeling you get when you find that dreaded ticket on your dash because you parked in a street sweeping zone. Here at Metromile, we’re on a mission to make car ownership as easy as possible, which is why we are excited to announce that our street sweeping alerts are now available in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area!

street sweeping alerts

We’ve already issued more than 28,000 alerts in San Francisco and Chicago and saved customers an average of $1.8 million in parking tickets. Now, customers in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area can avoid those pricey tickets as well. In the past year, there have been nearly 650,000 street sweeping citations issued in the city of Los Angeles, 70,000 in Santa Monica, and 25,000 in West Hollywood. At $63-$73 per ticket, that means that residents in the greater Los Angeles area have spent more than $53 million in street sweeping ticket fines. We’re here to do something about that- your money can definitely be put to better use! Trying out that new restaurant or going to a concert with your friends is much better than paying for a pesky parking ticket.

Metromile customers in select cities can take advantage of the alerts. We use city data and internal information to determine if your car is parked in a street-sweeping zone, and, if so, you will receive a push notification 12 hours before the scheduled street cleaning. If you miss the first alert, there will be a second alert with one hour to spare.

LA and SD are the first of many stops on our roadmap as we expand coverage for our sweeping alerts and other smart services. Learn more about our free smart driving app, and if you are also interested in saving money with per-mile insurance you can get started here. Here’s to the last of those street sweeping tickets!

We’re Heading East: Per-Mile Insurance Launches in Virginia

We are so excited to announce that we are expanding our service to the East Coast! First stop: Virginia. This is the first time per-mile insurance is being offered in the state, so we are eager to provide car owners with a more fair and affordable insurance.

per-mile insurance Virginia

Virginia has great public transportation options, and many of its cities are easily accessible on foot, so we anticipate there to be quite a few people (read: tons) that will save money with our per-mile insurance. In fact, according to a recent study we conducted, the majority of Virginia drivers (67%) commute less than 100 miles per week.

We also found that a big pain point is the amount of time spent in cars due to traffic and congestion. Our pay-per-mile insurance offering is a great way for drivers to become more aware of how many miles they drive. We’re seeing a trend of folks actually driving less as a result, which ultimately means less cars on the road. And of course, everyone appreciates saving money!

We will also be expanding availability for the new Metromile Tag to Virginia, so people not quite ready to make the switch to per-mile insurance can take a free test drive. The Tag powers our smart driving app, which gives important insights into daily mileage, driving habits, car location, and more.

This is only the first stop on the road to East Coast expansion. So what’s next on our map? Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch or add yourself to our waitlist!

Introducing the Metromile Tag

Editor’s note: The Tag is no longer available, and the Metromile smart driving app is now only available for pay-per-mile insurance customers. 

In our efforts to make car ownership as easy and affordable as possible, we are excited to introduce the Metromile Tag! While the beta is currently available in eligible states and vehicles*, it will soon become available for all cars. The Tag wirelessly connects to smartphones via iBeacon technology and can be stored conveniently in the glove box, cup holder, or center console of the car.

*Tag is currently available in CA, OR, WA, IL and in cars built in 1996 and later

Metromile Tag

When the Tag detects the user’s phone it will start delivering useful driving information using the exact same app as our per-mile insurance customers. Features include our street sweeping alerts (currently in San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago), a car locator, driving stats, and more.* For those not ready for per-mile insurance, the Tag is the perfect way to take a free test drive to see how much they could save. Now everyone can have an easier time managing the daily hassles of owning a car.
*Note that our car health feature will not be available for Tag users since it requires the OBD-II port.

Our per-mile insurance customers will still receive the device that plugs into the OBD-II port, which we are now calling the Metromile Pulse (formerly the Metronome). Per-mile insurance customers have additional features such as the status of their car’s health, the ability to contact one of our on-staff mechanics, and even finding a stolen car. For current customers, there is no need to request a new device, but those interested in using a Tag in an another car will need to set up an additional account.

To make this new launch as seamless as possible, our current app users that are not per-mile insurance customers will be grandfathered into our program and can keep their Pulse (OBD-II device formerly known as the Metronome). If anything should happen, we’ll replace it with a new Metromile Pulse if needed. We still encourage everyone to share our app with their friends, just note that moving forward they will receive the Tag instead of the Pulse.

If you have additional questions about the Tag or the Pulse you can check out our FAQs. This is only the beginning – we have so many great new app features that we can’t wait to share in the coming months. Have suggestions for something that could make the app experience even more helpful? Send us a tweet @Metromile or email us at customerservice@metromile.com.

A Smarter Website for a Smarter Car Insurance

We’re proud to be revolutionizing car insurance here at Metromile, making car ownership more seamless and affordable. Not only did we want to shake up an age old industry, but we also wanted to address the fairness factor: why should the majority of low-mileage drivers subsidize the minority? If you don’t drive much, you shouldn’t pay much.

This message has definitely resonated with many people, and we wanted to make sure that our mission and our offering could clearly be understood on our website. As savvy consumers, we’ve grown to appreciate and expect clean and simple designs that get to the point while still connecting with us emotionally. The new Metromile website clearly shows how much money you could save with pay-per-mile insurance, and also how we enable a smarter driving experience.

New Metromile Website

So what exactly has changed? We’ve improved how you get your insurance quote so you can see your potential savings sooner. Updated navigation makes it easier to find the answers you need, whether you are wondering how our app can really help you find your car (it can!) or if we are judging your driving habits (we aren’t!). We believe that cars should support your busy lives, not hinder them.

The insurance revolution doesn’t stop at a new website; there are lots of exciting updates that we can’t wait to share with you. We can’t reveal everything right now but we can give you a hint: East coast expansion. Questions? Please visit our help center.

Metromile to offer per-mile insurance option to Uber driver partners

Editor’s note: In order to focus on our personal pay-per-mile insurance offering for low-mileage drivers, Metromile no longer offers rideshare insurance.

We are thrilled to announce an innovative solution for driver partners of Uber’s Transportation Network Companies in California, Washington, and Illinois! In our ongoing effort to empower drivers, we have obtained approval for a personal auto insurance product that recognizes and covers the dual nature of rideshare vehicles for personal and commercial use. Driver partners can now feel secure about their insurance coverage and not live in fear of being dropped by their carrier just because they participate in an Uber TNC.

Sign-up will begin in February 2015. Uber driver partners who are interested can add themselves to our waitlist at master-devwww.metromile.com/uber.

The beauty of the Metromile experience revolves around the ability to measure miles. Because we can tabulate all miles driven, it becomes a matter of distinguishing personal miles from “rideshare miles” – specifically, those driven from the moment a driver is matched with a rider until that passenger safely exits, thereby ending the trip. Metromile and Uber will coordinate to verify those timeframes and miles. For each monthly bill, rideshare miles will be subtracted from the total, and the driver is only billed for the personal miles. Rates will still vary by individual, but these are no different than how Metromile determines pricing for current (non rideshare) drivers.

This separation of coverage could translate into big savings for drivers who log most of their miles due to rideshare trips. On average, Metromile customers who drive less than 10,000 personal miles a year are saving 40%-50% on insurance premium.

Not only do drivers have the potential to save money, but ultimately they finally get peace of mind. They no longer have to live in fear of being denied coverage by a personal auto insurer because they participate in an Uber TNC, nor will they worry about coverage during formerly-ambiguous gray areas. Commercial coverage provided by Uber during actual Uber trips is still maintained and does not change because of this partnership.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The controversial issue of coverage for rideshare drivers has been debated for several years now. Calls for regulation abound, and several states have recently passed laws requiring more explicit coverage (CA AB2293 , IL SB 2774, and CO SB 14-125).

Why has it been so confusing and frustrating? It comes down to two aspects: 1) creating insurance products that recognize and cover the duality of personal and commercial functions for a single vehicle, and 2) clarifying who is primarily responsible for coverage at different times, or “modes” of a rideshare driver’s activity. These modes have been more commonly and frequently described as “periods”:

Period 1:  driver is actively seeking riders (app is on)
Period 2:  driver has been matched to a rider and is en route to pick up
Period 3:  rider has embarked vehicle

Periods 2 and 3 are covered by the commercial policy of the TNC (Transportation Network Company). Only in 2014 did legislation clarify which type of insurance products would be possible for coverage during Period 1. (States differ on effective dates by when drivers need to choose). Those options are:

1.  Personal auto insurance that recognizes TNC use
2. Commercial insurance (separate from the policy provided by the TNC)
3. Primary liability insurance provided by the TNC

Metromile is proud to offer a solution for option 1!

Other insurance providers are piloting new products as well, but it appears as if they will be charging customers more for this expanded recognition and coverage. Typically, option 2 is expensive and not realistic for drivers to afford long-term.

Outright ‘personal’ time has been relatively more clear:  the rideshare app isn’t on and the driver isn’t actively looking for riders. Thus far, personal auto insurance hasn’t traditionally included coverage for anyone using their car for rideshare (or livery) services. That’s old-world thinking though – when no one could imagine a time where a personal vehicle could also be successfully employed for, essentially, commercial use (i.e. as a cab).

No one can deny the rapid pace of innovation across industries today. Ultimately, it’s the consumer who experiences any Imbalances when adjacent services and products don’t keep pace within their ecosystem. At Metromile, we are motivated by our mission to revolutionize the auto insurance industry – we couldn’t be more excited to bring this new tangible solution to the driver community!

Stay tuned for more!

Settings & Sharing update on Android

Our Android app now has Settings & Sharing!

What cool features are included?

1. Set notifications for street sweeping and DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) in 3 ways: push alerts via the app, SMS, and email.

2. Set your preferred fuel type* for more accurate Fuel Cost calculations.

3. Request a data export via the app; the CSV file will then be available for download in your online dashboard.

4. Add a photo of your beloved car under Settings.

5. Your VIN* (vehicle identification number) will show in Settings if available (about 60% of cars will be able to share this via the OBDII port).

6. Sharing! You can share just about everything from the app: Trips, Street Sweeping alerts, DTCs, Car Location, potential Insurance Savings, and the app itself. Just look for the sharing symbol in the upper right corner.

In case our iOS users didn’t know, these features are all available on our iOS app too.

Update your Android app to version 1.1.1 today!

* Not all car makes/models may have this info (varies by manufacturer)

 

Knowledge is power but Sharing is caring

We know you love all the info available in our Metromile app. Our latest update now lets you share with others. You decide whether it’s to be informative, get help, or just show off. 

You’ll now be able to share the app itself and the following 5 features via Twitter, Facebook, SMS (text), or email. 

Car location

Who remembers to drop the pin on a map after you’ve parked? It’s a face-plant moment once you realize you forgot that step but really want to find your car! With the Metromile app, you don’t have to worry about  the chore of pin-dropping; you can just see where you car is anytime. Now you can send others this view too, because we know you meet up with plenty of peeps that need to find your car. 

 

DTC Codes

When you see our diagnoses on the app, you can now more easily send it to the person that may end up actually taking the car in for service. Or maybe you want to send it ahead of time to your mechanic to figure out how long it will take him to fix it. We pre-fill the codes for a Twitter or Facebook post to save you time. Of course, you can also ask our staff mechanic for advice (just click on “Ask a Mechanic” in the app to send a text or email).

 

Insurance Savings

Our current users save up to $500 per year on average. Want to see if pay-per-mile insurance could work for you? Check out the calculation in the app and share with a friend who might benefit too.

Tell us how you share these features in the comments. We’d love to be inspired by your stories.

Individual trips

Just click on the arrow on the right side of the map. Maybe it’s to brag about the fastest trip home, or to recommend the most efficient commute for a new coworker just getting ramped up. Your navigation and route may be ‘gold’ for someone else trying to get to the same place.

 

Street Sweeping Alerts

If your friend or family member happens to be parked on the same street, let him know that he may be at risk for a ticket! Maybe you’ll get treated to a drink thanks to sending the heads up. This awesome feature is still only in 2 cities (San Francisco and Chicago) but rest assured we’re working to add more. 

 

We’re shaking things up in California!

We’re thrilled to announce that pay-per-mile insurance is now available in California, joining Washington, Oregon, and Illinois. Check out this great new video that explains how Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance works:* 

Did you know that, on average, a California driver only logged around 8,500 miles in 2011?** That means most people in the state would be great candidates to save – per-mile insurance is an economical option for those who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year.

Visit our site to learn more and even get a quote!

Be sure to check out the latest and greatest on our app too – we’ve released some awesome new features:

  • Ask a Mechanic:  If you have any questions about the health alerts of your car, you can now directly contact our very own mechanic from within the app.
  • Speed Tracking: We added an overlay for speed by trip so you can see how fast you were going.
  • Gas Customization: We get it – there are 3 octane levels for fuel out there, and now you can enter the type you use to better estimate gas costs. The price of gas is based on the average price in your zip code.

As always, many more fun(ctional) things to come!

 

* Prices shown in video are examples only. Exact monthly rate and per-mile rate vary based on driver history, car’s make and model, and other additional factors.

** ”Moving Off the Road | A State-by-State Analysis of the National Decline in Driving”, Phineas Baxandall, US PIRG, August 2013  

 

We’ve Got A Bit Of A New Look!

If you opened the MetroMile app in the last week, you might’ve noticed that we’ve gotten a bit of a new look. In the interest of making the app easier to navigate, we hope you find our design improvements make the app more useful, too.

Specifically, upgrades include:

  • A dedicated page for the ‘Find My Car’ feature, plus walking directions to your car
  • A larger and easier to navigate trips list
  • A trends view to track various driving stats, over time
  • A better display of each individual trip’s distance, duration, MPG and gas cost  

This new design is just a taste of what’s to come – we’ve got a lot more upgrades in the pipeline, so make sure to stay tuned to learn more about what we have in store.

And as always, if you have any feedback for us, we’re all ears. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!