PEMCODOMETER FAQS

Once you download the Go PEMCO app on your smartphone and register for My Driving Discount, PEMCODOMETER runs in the background and automatically detects and records your trips. Each trip is processed and tabulated, with results usually appearing in the app on your phone a few minutes after you complete your trip. 
It learns your driving behaviors over time. You can specify the proper label for each trip in the app: 
  • I was driving
  • I was not driving
You can label a trip in the app for up to seven days after it occurs. After that, the app confirms the label it has determined.
To complete the eligibility process, each participating driver on your policy will need to drive at least 150 miles and at least five separate trips recorded over the next 91 days. If you notice the app doesn’t seem to be catching your trips, please check its settings to ensure it’s recording properly. 
No, the app runs in the background of your smartphone and automatically records trips when it detects motion that signifies a drive. However, you can open the app without interrupting the recording process. 

No, an active internet connection is NOT required for the app to record a trip.

However, your smartphone must have an internet connection (cellular or Wi-Fi) to upload newly captured trip data to the cloud. If your smartphone is not connected to the internet when new trip data is acquired, it will be uploaded when the internet connection is re-established. 

No, the phone must be ON for the app to record trip data. 

The phone’s battery level also determines whether the app can run. If the battery level is less than 20% and the phone is NOT connected to a charger, the app will not launch in the background to record data. 

Once you download the Go PEMCO app, your phone will prompt you to grant various permissions. 

Certain permissions must be “on,” “enabled” or set to “allow” for the app to operate properly: 

Operating System Permissions

Yes, the app uses the battery in the phone to operate. 

A recent test of modern phones detected a ~5% battery drain per hour when recording a trip. This may vary based on phone model and age, as well as other common battery drain causes such as having multiple apps open or using GPS frequently. We actively review battery drain levels and take innovative approaches to reduce battery drain, such as limiting our reliance on GPS. 

If your phone is not connected to a charger and its battery drops below 20% during a trip, the app stops recording the drive. If you connect your low-battery phone to a charger right away, trip recording resumes. 

Safety first! Drivers should never attempt to connect the phone to a charging source while driving. Ask a passenger to do it or just wait for PEMCODOMETER to capture your next trip.  

The app uploads approximately 500KB to 600KB of data per hour of driving. 

If you drive one hour/day for a month, the app will use about 18MB of data. This is a small fraction of a typical U.S. mobile data plan. 

The app analyzes your driving behavior in these areas:
  • Number of miles driven
  • Instances of phone distraction
  • Instances of hard braking and hard acceleration
  • Instances of hard cornering
  • Speeding
Research shows certain common driving behaviors significantly impact highway safety. Here’s how and why they’re measured:

Phone Distraction
Phone distraction is noted when:
  • The screen is on
  • The phone is moving around
  • The car is moving
This combination indicates that the driver’s eyes and attention aren’t on the road.

Hard Braking
The app will flag a “hard braking” event when the phone registers about 1/3G when slowing down. If the pavement is slick from rain or ice, most tires can only handle about 1/2G without skidding. Staying well below that contributes to safe driving.

We understand not all hard braking is bad driving! Sometimes quick braking can save you from an accident if you’re cut off or a pedestrian unexpectedly steps into the street.

Frequent hard braking, however, is associated with things like tailgating and not paying attention. If the app notices you’re braking hard a lot, it notes it as a concern. PEMCODOMETER must detect all braking events to determine whether hard braking is common for you.

Hard Acceleration
The app characterizes “hard acceleration” when it registers 1/3G or above when speeding up. It’s safer to accelerate more gradually. You’re less likely to skid if the road is wet or icy, and you reduce the risk you’ll be hit by someone running a red light.

Frequent hard acceleration is linked with aggressive driving, and aggressive drivers are more likely to get into crashes. The app lets you know if you’re accelerating quickly. If it notices hard acceleration often, it will affect your overall score more strongly.

Hard Cornering
The app will flag a “hard cornering” event when the phone registers about 1/3G sideways as you go around a corner.

If the pavement is slick from rain or ice, 1/2G is about the maximum that most tires can handle without slipping. It’s best to stay well below that.

Some intersections (and windy roads) can force you to corner hard to keep up with traffic. If you find that the app keeps flagging hard cornering at the same spot, consider choosing a safer route if one is available.

Speeding
The app will flag speeding when you exceed the speed limit by more than an incidental amount.

We realize that sometimes the flow of traffic is faster than the legal speed limit. But as speed increases, fatal car crashes go up as well. The “safest” choice can be complicated, so we currently set the safe speed only slightly above the legal limit.
  • Location and travel direction
  • Speed
  • Accelerometer data
  • Gyroscope data
  • Magnetometer data
  • Barometer data
  • Time
  • Phone state
  • User Activity (Android) or Motion & Fitness (iOS)
No, location is tracked only under specific conditions.

The app begins tracking location information to determine if a trip is in progress when the smartphone’s operating system detects a change in the phone’s location. Once it confirms a trip has begun, it records the location for the duration of the drive.
PEMCODOMETER tabulates information for discount purposes only. After the 91-day monitoring period, it stops logging trips automatically.
Once the app detects motion, it needs time to identify the location and begin capturing location data. How long this takes depends on how many other apps are being run simultaneously on the phone and how long it takes for the phone to acquire a GPS signal. If it takes more than a few moments to do this, the app shows a calculated path back to your last known location.
Your smartphone must be in proper working condition for the app to accurately record trips. The following issues can negatively impact the app’s ability to run in the background and automatically record trips:

Sensor issues
  • The phone is unable to identify GPS location.
  • The accelerometer embedded in the phone is not working or is malfunctioning.
  • The gyroscope embedded in the phone is not working or is malfunctioning.
  • The phone is having memory issues.
  • The phone is running multiple resource-intensive apps and is unable to provide the app with the required resources.
Force quit issues (iOS only)
  • Do not force quit the app unless necessary.
  • To force quit an iOS app, open the apps switcher and swipe the app upwards off the screen.
  • If you force quit the app during a trip, it stops the app from recording for a bit. However, the app will resume recording if it determines the trip is still in progress. The time during which the app was stopped will not have any recorded data available for processing.
  • If you force quit the app when a trip is NOT in progress, there will be little impact. The app will be ready to begin recording again in a short while and will record as expected unless a new trip starts immediately following the forced quit.

Generally, it takes up to 10 minutes for tabulations to appear. There are many reasons why trips are not available to review instantaneously:

The app needs time to determine whether the drive is complete. When motion is no longer detected, it continues recording until it is certain the drive is over and you’re not simply sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic. 

It takes time to perform all calculations and render the trip results. Depending on the length and quality of the drive, that could take up to 10 minutes. 

If your phone loses its network connection, newly captured trip data cannot be uploaded to the cloud for processing. Likewise, your phone can’t receive tabulated trip information for display without a connection. If the phone’s network connection is down, trip data and tabulated trips awaiting transfer are transmitted when the connection is re-established. 

Please update your email addressusing your PEMCO online account. You can do that through the Go PEMCO app.
If, at the end of the monitoring period, you don’t qualify for a discount or receive less of a discount than you had anticipated, you can try again after your next renewal. PEMCO members are eligible to participate in monitoring once per 12-month policy period.