Powered by Data

Committed to Safety and Performance

Pennzoil and ISL teamed up to create a hardware prototype designed to keep teens safe and parents sane. The result was a hardware experiment aptly named “Allowance.”

Allowance takes data from an internet-connected monitor (plugged into the car’s OBD-II port) and sends it to a mobile application on the mom, dad, or guardian’s phone. There, the app converts unsafe driving habits – hard braking, speeding, arriving home past curfew – into deductions from the teen’s allowance.

A teen's safe driving habits will trigger an increase in allowance and, if they maintain a safe driving record, Pennzoil will match the money raised and contribute cash to the driver's college fund.

App in Action
App in Action

Safety, In Real Time

How It Works
At the end of the day, Allowance is an app that leverages data to positively reinforce safe driving habits for teens while giving parents peace of mind. Margot Mausner, Producer
How We Built It


We partnered with connected hardware startup Automatic to collect the necessary data points. Using Automatic’s real-time events API and REST API, we were able to track trip start, trip finish, unsafe accelerations, speeding, engine light diagnostics, and sudden braking.

Designing the App
We had one goal: to create a simple interface that keeps teens safe while maintaining their autonomy. Maggie Gaudaen, Art Director
Allowance Mobile App

Sleek. Simple. Safe.

The mobile app was designed with custom elements derived from Pennzoil’s brand. Check current allowance, driver’s log, different user profiles, and status updates with ease. Parents will even receive push notifications as instances of safe (or unsafe) driving occur. And no, teens cannot check the app while driving.

Mobile App Design

Creating Ease of Mind

Package Design

Bold, Inside and Out

We designed the packaging to be as sleek as the app itself. Using a CNC milling machine, we fabricated an enclosure with hard edges and sharp angles on the exterior to match the curvature of the logo, which we etched into a composite wood using a laser cutter to really make it pop. On the inside, we rounded out the corners and added padding around the Automatic, which we customized with a yellow Pennzoil skin.

Package Design

Laser-Cut to Perfection

On The Set
Rigging the RED to the hood of a car was scary enough. Add two teenage drivers to the mix and suddenly there's a real cause for concern. Fortunately, everyone was safe, the shots looked amazing, and we had a great time." Sammy Yoon, Video Producer
Behind The Scenes

Video Production