Ford has officially teamed up with insurance company State Farm to offer a new Drive Safe & Save Connected Car program. The program is set to launch in select states, though it's only available to specific "connected" Ford and Lincoln cars.

Essentially, the new program will monitor a driver's behavior, among other variables, such as a vehicle's mileage, to determine the rate for car insurance. While programs like this have been offered by some auto insurance companies for a time, they haven't necessarily been tied to an automaker.

Tesla recently started offering its own insurance program, though it first implemented a "Safety Score" beta system to analyze driver's behavior. The program is currently being used to determine which Tesla owners are driving safely enough to become Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta testers. 

Ford's program in partnership with State Farm is similar to Tesla's Safety Score system since it provides drivers with feedback related to speeding, aggressive acceleration, hard braking, fast cornering, and distracted driving.

Tesla's Safety Score system has been considered "problematic" by some folks in the industry, but Tesla insists that it leads to safer driving. It's basically like turning safe driving into a video game, with owners competing to get the best score. However, in some cases, that could result in driving in such a way that may irritate others or even break laws. 

While Ford's new insurance program isn't tied to winning access to a sought-after feature, it could potentially save people money. Obviously, not all drivers will be willing to sign up for the program, let alone change their driving behavior in hopes of a better rate. However, just the monitoring and feedback should work to make drivers more aware of their habits, which should encourage safer driving.

According to Teslarati, State Farm Senior Vice President Chris Schell shared:

“Customers can better manage their car insurance premium because their rate will be more closely associated with their personal driving characteristic. Drive Safe & Save represents a significant auto discount opportunity, including an initial 10% participation discount off major coverages. Discounts average between 10 and 15%, with even higher discounts possible depending on individual driving behaviors."

Ford is rolling out Drive Safe & Save Connected Car in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, at least initially. The new policies are set to begin around February 27, 2022. Owners will have to agree to opt into the program and allow Ford to share driver information directly with State Farm. After enrolling, owners will receive a Bluetooth device that interacts with a related app on their smartphone.

What do you think? Will other automakers also begin to follow suit? It seems the way of the future, at least as far as EVs and connected cars are concerned, is a major uptick in in-house programs and related partnerships that will benefit owners.

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