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Crashing Cars for Science

At Metromile, we believe car insurance should be fair. Which means your rates should be based on how much you drive, you shouldn’t be held responsible for accidents that you didn’t cause, and filing a claim should be easy. That’s why we created AVA, our artificial intelligence (AI) claims system, who works with the Metromile Pulse device to accurately verify claims and quickly resolve them.

The Metromile Pulse

The Metromile Pulse is a small, GPS-enabled device that measures the miles you drive. Once installed, the Pulse seamlessly and securely counts your miles. And we use these miles to calculate your bill. It’s how the whole pay-per-mile thing works. Using Metromile Pulse sensor data, AVA can reconstruct the scene of an accident to instantly determine if claim details are accurate. In addition, AVA is able to issue instant payments, schedule repairs and coordinate rental car needs, taking care of all the mundane things that can make the claims experience such a hassle. But how does AVA know the difference between a vehicle accident and minor bump? — We taught her.

Training AVA:

The best way to get to the truth of what low-impact and hit-and-run crashes would look like to the Pulse and AVA is to truly measure those collisions in the field. So that’s precisely what we did. We found a couple of used cars and put Pulse devices in them. Then we crashed them. Over, and over again.

Busting Car Insurance Myths

Thanks to the work of our Data Scientists, who were able to create a machine learning technique to distinguish between crash types, AVA can now determine what is, and what is not a “crash event.” So, no matter what life throws at you or your car, Metromile will have your back.


Buy that car, take that trip, and don’t sweat the small things along the way, because Metromile is building a seamless claims experience, from the ground up. Because not every accident is the same, and we want to know all the facts, so we can help get you back on the road faster. Get a free quote today and join the Metromile fam – we’re always one call, tap, or click away. Be safe out there and see you on the roads!

Committed to Innovation: The Master of Science in Data Science Program at the University of San Francisco

Here at Metromile, we are all about making car insurance more fair and less painful — some may call this a lofty goal. We know that all it takes to make auto insurance simple and seamless is a bit of data, some science, a lot of technology, and a dash of magic. From the outside looking in, revolutionizing the auto insurance industry may seem easy, but take a peek under our insurance hood, and you’ll quickly realize that it takes a lot of systemization to keep this engine running. And at a company whose whole mission is to reinvent ways to manage risk, it should come as no surprise that our Data Science team is constantly buzzing; building and testing new models and furiously working to analyze Metromile data to find new opportunities to fix how insurance is traditionally “done.”

pay-per-mile car insurance

Revolutionizing an antiquated industry is no easy feat. It takes a village – a village of brilliant humans that are constantly iterating and innovating. One of the best ways to foster a culture of innovation is to work with local University programs like The Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) Program at the University of San Francisco. It’s a win-win for both us, and the University because it gives students valuable business experience, and it gives us insight into new data patterns, trends, and opportunities.

The Program

The Practicum Program at USF pairs students with bay area companies, allowing them to apply their skills to gain experience, and reconcile mathematical theory with business practice. Each student is expected to create and refine a project with their partner company for 16 hours per week, while concurrently taking classes. This past Winter and Spring, we were lucky enough to have two USF students join us, Chenxi and Fang. They have spent the past six months trying to read mileage from odometer pictures, which can be used to correct the mileage measurements we receive from the Pulse device. This gets to the crux of what makes Metromile different from traditional insurers – we charge for insurance by the mile, so exact mileage is very important, and we are always looking for new ways to track mileage! Chenxi and Fang utilized some deep learning techniques, like the U-net model, in order to deal with object segmentation problems in computer vision.

The Project

During their time at Metromile, Chenxi and Fang applied state of the art techniques to real-world problems and gained experience using deep learning to solve computer vision challenges. Asking Chenxi and Fang what the most challenging part of their project was, they posited that the most taxing aspect was also what they learned the most from, “trying to solve a problem with limited resources and a relatively small dataset. We tried various ways to enlarge the dataset we have, as well as adjust the algorithms we used to overcome the issue.”

When asked whether or not they experienced a breakthrough moment, both Chenxi and Fang concluded. “There were several breakthrough moments during our work on this project, but the process is gradual and requires constant inputs and modification. The biggest challenge of our practicum was the project itself – extracting mileage from the odometer and correctly distinguishing that information from other similar numbers has turned out to be difficult. Luckily, our mentors have been patient and resourceful and have helped us a lot.”

One of these mentors, Chetan Ramaiah – a Data Science Manager here at Metromile – oversaw the internship program and recalled that Metromile had previously hired a 2016 participant of the program. It was the success from previous years that encouraged him to place Metromile in the program again. “The experiments conducted by Chenxi and Fang helped us identify a state of the art solution to a difficult research problem, and the process helped identify the various difficulties in modeling a solution to the problem. In addition, both Chenxi and Fang helped establish a benchmark on the quality of internship candidates.”

Internships at Metromile

According to Chetan, the project was a success.“The project adds a new dimension to Metromile’s mileage tracking abilities. The odometer project can independently verify and improve our mileage tracking from the Pulse and the OBD-II port.” Metromile looks forward to participating in the Practicum in coming years, and plans on taking on more Data Science and Engineer interns next summer. If you are interested in applying for an internship with Metromile please contact David Clifford, Director of Data Science ([email protected]) or Mike Dicarlo, VP of Engineering ([email protected]).

From Home to Work, Smart Tech is Saving You Money

Smart tech has already invaded our homes, making them more convenient and efficient with thermostats that automatically adjust their temperature settings, lighting that turns on and off on cue, doors and windows that lock on a schedule, and much, much more. Now, these intelligent gadgets are increasingly expanding beyond the home, – including to your car. If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, here’s how you can take advantage of this technology to save some serious time and money.

Smart Tech

    Smart Tech: The Web on Wheels

    Most modern vehicles are packed full of technology, including a whole host of software platforms that control everything from infotainment systems to safety features to the operation of the engine itself. Keeping all these systems updated and running efficiently is no easy task, but it’s gotten much simpler thanks to built-in internet connectivity. Now, carmakers can push software updates to your vehicle in real-time, cutting down on the need for costly and inconvenient recalls and ensuring that safety issues are addressed in a timely manner. Auto manufacturers can even use the web to collect data on how their cars are being driven, allowing them to fine-tune your engine control unit to give you better performance and fuel economy.

    Smart Tech: Safer Driving

    We rarely think about it, but driving is among the most dangerous activities we do on a daily basis. Thankfully, smart technology is beginning to change that. Many new cars feature sophisticated collision avoidance systems, which employ an array of sensors, lasers, radars and other technologies to detect an impending collision and take appropriate actions to mitigate or prevent it. Some vehicles also feature other advanced safety features, such as lane-keep systems, pedestrian detection, night-vision systems and more. There are also plugin devices such as Metromile’s Pulse, a device that plugs into the car’s on-board diagnostic (ODB) system, that can help decode your check engine light without visiting the mechanic or even recover stolen cars with the built-in GPS functionality. In addition to the safety and peace of mind these systems provide, they may help save you cash as well.

    Smart Tech: There’s an App for That

    Fighting through traffic is a stressful and time-consuming experience, but navigation apps like Waze and Inrix now offer real-time traffic information to help you plot a smoother course. Through the power of crowdsourced information, you can be notified of traffic accidents, road construction and other delays, helping you spend less time – and fuel – sitting idly behind the wheel. Apps can save you money in other ways, too. Metromile’s smart driving app can help drivers avoid those pesky street parking tickets (in select cities), help you locate your car and provide driving data and trends to help you drive smarter and save money on gas. GasBuddy and similar apps make it easy to find the cheapest gas prices in your area, ensuring that you always get the best deal when it’s time to fill up. Another handy smart gadget is the ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor, which uses simple plug-and-play hardware to turn your smartphone into an advanced tire pressure monitor. The app syncs with the hardware to display precise tire pressure data, making it a breeze to ensure your tires are always properly inflated – potentially saving as much as 11 cents per gallon on gas.

    Smart Tech: Connect to Home

    If you have your home outfitted with smart devices, you already know how powerful home automation and connectivity can be. Why not take it to the next level by adding your car to the mix as well? Though the technology remains in its infancy, the possibilities are virtually endless. Open or close your smart garage door from your car when you leave or arrive at home. Suddenly remember that you left the lights on or the front door unlocked on the way to work? Don’t waste time and money turning around – just control your smart lights or door locks right from your car’s infotainment display. Weather a little warmer than you expected? Use your car to lower the temperature settings on your smart thermostat and save some energy!

    Smart Tech: Hands-Free Help

    Voice control is changing the way we interact with our technology, and now it’s coming to vehicles as well. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto bring the full capability of AI-powered digital assistants right to your car, so you can use Siri and Google Assistant to get things done without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. You can add appointments to your schedule, set reminders for important events, place phone calls and much more, allowing you to make the most of your time behind the wheel. After all, time is money!

If you’d like to make the most of the time you spend in the driver’s seat, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibilities afforded by smart technology. With the tips above, you can save money on fuel and insurance costs, stay connected with your home network and make your car smarter, safer and more capable than ever before. If you are looking for more ways to save on your vehicle Learn more about Metromile’s per-mile insurance offering and get a free quote now.

Emma Bailey is a freelance writer and blogger from the Midwest. After going to college in Florida, she relocated to Chicago where she now lives with a roommate and two rabbits. She covers current topics in home technology and issues pertaining to the environment.

Metromile Introduces New Automated Claims Service

We recently shared the good news that Metromile had acquired an insurance carrier, enabling us to manage the entire claims process from start to finish. The good news keeps coming — our new and improved claims service is already here! This includes our automated claims tool that gives many customers the option of filing their claim online without ever talking to someone on the phone.


In the event that a Metromile insurance customer needs to file a claim, the entire process will be much more seamless. Our brand new claims tool uses data and automation to reduce the pain points of traditional insurance. Unlike other major insurance companies that only allow you to start the beginning of a claim online, our customers can file everything right from their online dashboard or mobile phone. Also unique is our claims algorithm that dynamically serves questions depending on the situation, making sure the experience is streamlined and tailored to you.

We understand the importance of getting claims filed quickly and fairly. Customers can opt-in to use data provided from their Metromile Pulse device to expedite the claims process. Qualified claims can even be resolved and paid out within hours.

We’ve also updated our glass and roadside assistance. You can now instantly make a request from our app or online dashboard. If you are requesting roadside assistance, you can even track where your tow truck is in real time.

While we pride ourselves on being a tech-forward company, there are plenty of talented people working behind the scenes. Our claims team is comprised of people with over 200 combined years of experience at major insurance companies. Even though the whole claim can be filed online, customers will still have a dedicated claims representative to ensure everything is done quickly and fairly. We’ll do whatever it takes to get our customers back on the road as soon as possible.

Connected Life 101

From laptops to smart phones to wearable trackers, we’re always connected. In fact, one-fifth of Americans reported being online constantly – from scrolling through social media on their commute, to using the internet all day at work to ordering delivery from an app. We’ve shared some of our favorite connected devices below.

connected cars

Home: Wired security systems are a thing of the past. Nest has three products that make any home a smart home: a thermostat that adapts life and changing seasons, a smoke alarm that you can you can silence and diagnose from your phone, and a security camera you can access from your phone that tracks both motion and sound alerts.

Car: You don’t have to have a fancy car to have a smart car. Metromile’s smart driving app, available to pay-per-mile customers, unlocks driving data and gives drivers information about their trips, trends, fuel levels, car location and more. It has even helped recover stolen cars! The Metromile app can also diagnose check engine lights. Find more information about Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance offering or get a free quote here.

Eats: From getting groceries delivered through Instacart, meal prep delivered via Blue Apron, or your favorite restaurant through Postmates, getting food fast at home is simple. Eatsa, available in San Francisco and L.A., is connecting you to a simple healthy meal when you want to go out! You can order via their mobile app, or via iPad in their restaurant.

Exercise: No time to hit the yoga studio? Many studios offer online classes, like With a laptop and a yoga mat, you could be on your way to a sweet savasana. And if you haven’t joined the wearables crowd, try a Fitbit fitness tracker! Not only can you count your steps and stairs climbed, you can challenge your friends to see who can walk more in a week!

For more on how technology makes our life our life easier, check out this blog post.

5 Ways Technology Makes Your Life Easier

New technology has made it easier (and cheaper) to tackle chores and daily pains – from a long commute to work to splitting a check between 10 people at dinner. Below are some of our favorite modern conveniences.

pay-per-mile insurance

  • Spring Cleaning: Is your laundry piling up? Try Washio or Rinse to have your laundry picked up, cleaned and delivered without a second thought. And if you need a deep clean or your furniture assembled, book a cleaner or handyman instantly with Handy.
  • Transportation: Not only can you request a car to your door via Uber or Lyft, you can also access personal driving data and trends from your phone! For pay-per-mile car insurance customers, Metromile has a free app that gives drivers access to their data such as trips and trends, fuel level, car location and car health. We even issue street sweeping alerts in select markets.
  • Pets: If you have a dog in a city, chances are you’ll need a walker to let your dog out during the day. Wag! Has dog walkers on-demand ready to walk your pup, and they’ll even deliver a free lockbox to your apartment.
  • Payment: With mobile payment apps such as Venmo and Apple Pay, you can pay or charge people with the click of the button. You can even pay for your groceries with your phone!
  • Meals: Options for food delivery are no longer limited to pizza and pad thai from the store next door, you can now have a fresh meal delivered to your door! If you’d like to cook the meal yourself, try Blue Apron who delivers recipes and exact amounts of ingredients to your door. But if you’d like a warm home-cooked meal at your door, check out Munchery.

If you find yourself using a ride-share to get to work, or putting more miles on your bike than car, pay-per-mile insurance might be the right modern convenience for you! Not only will you have access to your trip data, but you can view your bill in real time on the app. Learn more about Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance offering here.

New Ways to Pay and Save

Managing money can be confusing and downright frustrating. How many times have you spent way too long figuring out how to split the dinner check with your friends? Or funneled money in and out of your bank account without really paying attention to where it’s going? Luckily, technology is helping to take the burden out of dealing with everyday finances. Here are some companies that are making it easier than ever to both pay and save.


Pay with ease. Gone are the days where you have to find an ATM before a group event, in anticipation of needing exact change to split the check. With mobile payment apps such as Venmo, you can pay or charge people with the click of the button. You can even send reminders to nudge that friend who always “forgets” to pay.

Seamlessly track expenses. You don’t need to be an excel wiz to create and stick to a budget. Mint’s easy-to-use software makes budgeting extremely easy. Just create custom budgets based on your savings goals, and then Mint will do the rest, from seamlessly categorizing expenses to alerting you when you are nearing your monthly budget.

Save on the essentials. Now, it’s easy and affordable to purchase necessities like groceries and other household items. Jet and Amazon allow you to set recurring shipments personalized to your needs so that essentials (like toilet paper) will arrive on your doorstep right when you need them. Not only is this more convenient for you, but you can usually score some big savings by subscribing.

Car insurance is another necessity for anyone that owns a car, and here at Metromile, we’re using technology to save low-mileage drivers a ton of money with our pay-per-mile insurance offering. Because we can track exact mileage with the Pulse, a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car, we’re able to provide a more affordable pricing model. If you want to see how much you could save, you can get a free quote here.

Making Moves: Metromile Receives Strategic Investment

We are thrilled to announce that Intact Financial Corporation, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada, has made a strategic investment in Metromile.

Metromile Investment

2015 was an exciting year for Metromile – we launched a partnership with Uber, expanded to the East Coast and added to our executive team. Funds from this investment will be used to continue on our exciting journey by accelerating Metromile’s growth and offerings nationwide. For our customers, this means a continued focus on the customer experience from sign up through day-to-day needs, improved app technology and updated features, further development of the claims experience and much more. You’ll also be seeing a lot more of us around town!

Intact Financial shares similar values in transparency, customer experience and a technology-driving approach to insurance. The venture represents an exciting opportunity for Intact Financial to expand its core competencies which will ultimately enhance the customer experience.

To see more announcements from Metromile, visit our Press page. And if you are interested in our pay-per-mile insurance offering, you can learn more here.