Fitness trackers have turned into a multibillion-dollar business, but what about a fitness tracker for your car? General Motors' OnStar division is announcing today that it's launching a "driver assessment" program in cars that will track how well drivers drive — hard braking, hard acceleration, and so on — and offer detailed feedback after collecting 90 days' worth of data. Afterward, they'll have the option of forwarding the data on to Progressive as part of its Snapshot insurance discount program, where you can get discounted insurance rates for driving well. (Progressive already offers a hardware dongle that can plug into existing cars to accomplish the same function.)
Privacy is a big concern here: although GM says that control of the system is "is in the hands of the customer," it only notes that drivers control whether they receive an assessment. The company is using anonymized driving data to compare participating drivers to national averages — do you drive better or worse than the average driver? — but it's been well documented that anonymized location data can often be de-anonymized. Authorities and consumer advocate groups have already taken a keen interest in connected car platforms as a potential privacy problem, and a feature like this certainly won't allay many fears.
GM says the feature will be available on all 2016 models sold in the US, "most" 2015 models, and a selection of 2013 and 2014 models starting this summer.