Why OBDII dongles are the best way to verify mileage

March 2, 2021

As per-mile insurance policies and usage-based products are becoming mainstream, mileage verification has become a vital service for accurate pricing. Joining the growing number of companies looking for reliable and accessible mileage verification are government agencies seeking a transportation funding alternative known as road usage charging. 

By now, you may have heard that the per-gallon gas tax, which has been the primary source of transportation funding to-date, does not have the purchase power it once had. Legislators on the state and federal levels are exploring plug-in technology as a mileage verification tool in road charging programs and many are choosing Azuga. Unfortunately, the public has mixed feelings about these plug-in devices. Here’s more insight on mileage reporting options and why the OBD device is the most successful mileage meter. 

Why there is no one-size-fits-all in mileage verification methods

The truth is, there is no single mileage reporting option that fits the bill for all vehicles and individuals. This is for a few reasons.

  • Personal preference: As widely as the makes, models, and iterations of vehicles vary, so, too, does the personal preferences and lifestyles of vehicle owners. What works for the majority may not work for others. 
  • Vehicle technology limitations: Not one tech solution fits all vehicles, as vehicular capabilities and applications continue to evolve. Most cars manufactured before 1996, for example, are unable to report mileage electronically via a diagnostic port, and today’s newest cars do not have a diagnostic port but require a paid subscription to the connected car system to verify mileage remotely.
  • Legislature requirements: In consideration of the two factors listed above as well as other reasons, most legislators require choices be provided for all drivers. This ensures all vehicle owners can pick an option best suited to their needs and preferences. For example, drivers participating in Oregon’s OReGO road usage charge program can choose between Azuga’s location-enabled plug-in device and non-location device.

Azuga has tested several mileage reporting options and boasts the deepest knowledge and experience on road usage charging technology and system management. Download our whitepaper Mileage Reporting Options for Successful Road Usage Charging for details on each method and what to expect.

Why OBDII devices are a top choice for verifying mileage

The world is becoming more and more wirelessly-connected, but a nationwide fleet of nearly 280 million vehicles is far too diverse in technological capabilities to make any single mileage verification method a catch-all. Approximately 25% of all vehicles on the road today are at least 16 years old. Surprised? Don’t be. The average age of all these vehicles is expected to continue to increase due to COVID-19 impacts. 

Onboard diagnostic (OBD a.k.a. OBDII) devices plug in under a vehicle’s dashboard and immediately relay information from the car’s native computer system. Here’s why Azuga’s device is a great example of OBD technology that provides drivers and government agencies alike a versatile and effective mileage verification tool.

  • Compatibility: Most cars manufactured after 1996 are compatible with the OBDII device. 
  • Convenience: The Azuga device is installed in just a few seconds—simply plug it in and leave it. Mileage is verified quickly and remotely without you having to do anything else.
  • Reliability: Software updates are quick, easy, and remote. Azuga utilizes a reputable cloud service to allow fast and reliable functionality on high economies of scale.
  • Accuracy: This method is accurate and timely. As an added bonus, GPS-enabled Azuga devices can differentiate mileage types and easily subtract miles driven outside of a program’s taxable boundaries. They can also be adapted for congestion-based pricing and other local level road charge programs.
  • Value-add and savings: Enablement of Azuga’s value-added services is a major perk. For example, Azuga Insight premium features can help vehicle owners maintain the overall health of their vehicle, save money on costly repairs, help optimize fuel use, and monitor teenagers operating the family car. 
  • Privacy and security:  As a third-party technology provider, Azuga keeps vehicle data secure and completely separate from the government. Azuga encrypts data, stores it on secure and reliable servers, destroys it on a periodic basis, and keeps it private. For anyone skeptical of location-enabled features, Azuga also offers a non-location device option.
  • Fraud protection: Should someone intentionally or unintentionally tamper with the device, Azuga and the vehicle owner will be notified immediately to take corrective action. Some vehicles even provide odometer readings through direct communication between the OBD device and the vehicle computer, circumventing any possibility of mileage fraud and allowing for mileage true-up if the device is ever unplugged.

A vast variety of vehicles and personal preferences make diversity in mileage verification solutions absolutely paramount for road usage charging and other far-reaching government programs (e.g. congestion pricing). Further, these programs and the technology needs to evolve with technological advancement and social expectations. The facts listed above are why it’s so important to consider several mileage reporting options and how Azuga rises to the challenge.

Have questions about Azuga Insight? Send us a message at azugainsightinfo@azuga.com or follow us on Twitter @azugainsight.

Download our whitepaper Mileage Reporting Options for Successful Road Usage Charging

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