Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance keeps coming closer. There are now at least three different technology companies in the market with pay-as-you-drive systems. These are not yet insurance plans available to Cascadian consumers. They’re products—little electronic gizmos that connect to GPS and/or wireless networks and/or the USB port on your home computer—that insurance companies can adopt to collect data for PAYD insurance plans.

Each product is a bit different and each has its own answer to privacy concerns. I’m not endorsing any of them.

My point here is the same one I made before: information technology, not lane-by-lane HOT lanes, is likely the shortest road to prices that tell the truth about driving.

A Waterloo, Ontario company is launching a pilot soon for its iPAID system.

An Atlanta, Georgia company is aggressively promoting its product called DriverScore.

And a third firm called Sensomatix reportedly has a product on the market, too, though its website doesn’t yet describe it.

Getting the policy details right—protecting privacy and incentives for fuel-conserving vehicles—will be the giant issues in this space. Not whether the technology sweeps into the market.

State transportation and insurance agencies, are you listening?