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While there’s no arguing that the OBD device allowed auto insurance innovators to put UBI on the map, many in the industry are beginning to wonder if first-generation technology is the best technology. In this disruptive age of self-driving cars, alternative fuel vehicles and shared ridership, warehousing OBD device and mailing them to customers for do-it-yourself installation seems a bit archaic. However, while a smartphone platform seems to offer a viable alternative, questions linger about the reliability and accuracy of data collected. Is it on par with information collected by OBD devices?

OBD vs. Professional GPSTo answer this question, we first compared the measurements of a mid-range OBD device, which reads vehicle speed from a Controller Area Network bus to a commercial grade GPS navigation system. We collected data from 10 cars during the three months. Before comparing the OBD device to a smartphone platform, we wanted to see how it matched up against the absolute speed standard–the commercial grade GPS. Results are shown below: 

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