MetroMile, the company that wants to capture and use driving data from all over the world, has launched publicly today with an innovative new car insurance scheme in the United States.

Drivers are given a proprietary device, called a Metronome, to plug into their car and start extracting data. All of the information regarding how far they drive is transmitted to MetroMile in real-time, allowing the company to charge individuals a unique, per-mile rate each month.

It’s important to note that only the number of miles is important. When, where or how you drive to any given location doesn’t matter, meaning you can own a sports car or gas guzzler and still get the same deal. Coupled with a standard base rate, MetroMile says the concept works out at roughly a few cents per mile for full coverage car insurance.

The Metronome device is an interesting concept and no doubt a more accurate way of assessing car usage on a day-to-day basis. It’s also nice to see a car insurance company actively rewarding the people who are trying to cut back on their overall mileage.

MetroMile’s insurance scheme is only available in Oregon right now, although the company says it hopes to expand into additional states “as the company gains regulatory approval.”

Steve Pretre, CEO and Co-Founder of MetroMile said:

“There is a widening gap between high mileage and low mileage drivers. Millions of people are making conscious decisions to bike, walk and use public transit more often, benefiting the environment and livability of our cities. Traditional car insurance pricing takes the money those people should be saving based on their reduced driving and uses it to subsidize people that drive more. That is unfair and we are setting out to change it.”

MetroMile says they’ve been working on the technology behind its car insurance scheme for more than two years. By combining hardware, software and cloud-based infrastructure, it’s able to tap into driving data on an unprecedented scale and offer much fairer rates. As a nice touch, drivers can also access detailed driving analytics through a simple online dashboard to help them better understand their car usage.

David Friedberg, Founder and Chairman of the Board at MetroMile, estimates that people drive three trillion miles in the United States each year. Capturing the data from every car’s on-board computer would therefore produce approximately 300 petabytes of data.

That’s a pretty formidable end-goal, and no doubt one of the reasons why MetroMile is launching the service today in a single state. We’re all in favor of fairer car insurance though, so here’s hoping it can be rolled out nationwide sooner rather than later.

Image Credit: PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images