When they say that ‘big brother is watching you,’ what they mean is ‘Honda is watching.’ The Japanese automaker made headlines when it announced a new app that would monitor your driver habits.
Do you think you’re a good driver? You might be, but that’s in question when you get behind the wheel of a new Honda. It might help save you money with your insurance agency, and then again, it might not. Here’s what MotorTrend thinks about the new app.
What exactly is this app and what does it do?
Honda and Acura have joined together to release an app that will essentially give you a grade on whether you are a good driver. It’s called HondaLink or AcuraLink. The new app is powered by a company called Verisk Analytics.
The app’s goal is to make drivers aware of their unsafe driving behaviors and then take proactive steps to correct this. There are five areas that the app will grade you on, which include smooth acceleration/braking, driving speed, consistent commuting at the same time each day, driving at less risky times, and how long you’re behind the wheel.
Do the scores matter, though? The data seems to back this up. MotorTrend reports, “According to Verisk, the lowest-scoring drivers are seven times more likely to be involved in a crash or have an insurance claim compared to drivers with the highest scores.”
Is it really going to save you money?
That seems to be the case. Not only does Honda think it will save you money with insurance companies, but it might help you learn ways to save on fuel. While the gas prices might be cheaper than most of us have ever seen, every penny counts. Learning ways to save on fuel might be tempting enough for some consumers to download the app.
Not all Acura and Honda vehicles are eligible for the app, so don’t just assume you can download the app, and you’re good to go. Only the newer models are compatible with it, and only certain trim levels.
If you are interested in an Acura, the eligible vehicles are the 2019-present Acura RDX (all trims), 2020 Acura ILX (Technology package and above), 2020 Acura TLX (Technology package and above), 2020 Acura RLX (Technology package and above), and the 2020 Acura MDX (Technology package and above.)
The eligible Honda vehicles are the 2018-present Honda Accord (Touring), 2018-present Honda Odyssey (Touring, Elite), 2019-present Honda Insight (Touring), 2019-present Honda Passport (Touring, Elite), and the 2019-present Honda Pilot (Touring, Elite, Black Edition).
Why is Honda doing this?
While it’s easy to fear the worst, don’t just assume that Honda wants to spy on you. It might feel that way, but Honda is just trying to keep up with its dedication to safety.
Honda envisions a world where wrecks simply don’t happen. To express this view, Honda stated, “Creating a world where collisions no longer happen is one of our most monumental dreams yet, and we’re already working toward making it come true with advanced suites of collision-avoidance and driver-assistive technologies called HondaSensing and AcuraWatch. Through these and future innovations, we are working toward realizing our vision of a collision-free society.”
The HondaLink is just another step in Honda’s dedication to safety. The first major step was implementing the Honda Sensing and Acura Watch suite, which offers a ton of safety features that aren’t normally available. Some of the features available include adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist system, and road departure mitigation.
Perhaps the best part of the Honda Sensing and Acura Watch is that it is an affordable way to get some great safety features without having to upgrade to a trim level you really can’t afford. The app isn’t well received at the moment. It runs the risk of making some potential owners run for the hills, but there might be others who are intrigued by it.
Either way, it is optional. Honda is not forcing drivers to use this, nor will it give out your grade without your express permission. There is also no guarantee that you’ll get a discount on your insurance. That’s entirely up to the insurance company itself.