In-Car Sensors Put Insurers In The Driver's Seat

By Teresa Meek

Jeff Branson, the police chief of Mattoon, Ill., has been tracking a lead-footed driver for nearly two years.

A couple of times, he’s caught the guy doing 70 in a 55. He’s confiscated the vehicle twice but never issued a ticket.

The speed demon just happens to be his 18-year-old son Chase. Branson monitors his son’s driving habits with a device provided by auto insurance provider State Farm that plugs into the car’s data port and collects information on mileage, braking, turns, acceleration, and what time of day Chase is driving. The device uploads the data to the company, which uses it to rate drivers and offer them a possible discount under the company’s “Drive Safe & Save” program. Information about Chase’s specific location and speed is sent to Branson through an optional monitoring program associated with the device but is not sent to the insurance company.

In-car sensors, or telematics, have become business as usual for major auto insurance carriers like State Farm, Progressive PGR +0.00% and Allstate ALL +0.00%, which say customers appreciate the opportunity to review their performance online and receive discounts on their insurance. The palm-sized devices plug into a car’s data port, the same spot mechanics use for vehicle diagnostics. (All cars made since 1996 have the ports.) The devices record information about mileage and speed, which is then used to calculate data about acceleration and braking trends. Some systems also have GPS capability that is relayed to insurance companies for research purposes — or to owners like Branson who opt for driver monitoring.

To read more :

It is interesting to notice that those onboard application srpead very fast now.

However, the French company NEXYAD could demonstrate that severe braking are strongly correlated to "eco-driving" (interesting for the planet), but they ARE NOT correlated to accident.

Indeed, accident happens when many factors are gathered, and the main cause of accident in inadequation of the car speed regarding the CONTEXT :
. kind of road, and special danger points (crossings, etc ...)
. weather
. driver's state (tired, ...)

For that reason, NEXYAD a new module (very soon available on smartphones) called SafetyNex that measures both safety and eco.

On the following diagrams, you can see 4 kinds of driving behaviour :
. the "perfect" driver (good driver) : driving is both eco and safe.
. the "cool but dangerous" driver : never any severe bracking ... but passing a stop sign without bracking is not that safe ... is it ?
. the sportive brutal driver, safe most of the time
. the "terrible" driver (bad driver) : not eco, not safe, most of the time.

SafetyNex show this on diagrams that plot 2D mappings of scores (eco, safe) :

Good Driver - SafetyNex  Quiet Dangerous Driver
                             Good Driver                                                      "cool" but dangerous drver
                   all plots in the gree area                         a lot of plots in the red area that means "eco but not safe"

sportive driver  Bad Driver - SafetyNex
                   Sportive Brutal Driver                                                                 "terrible" drver
                 always safe except 4 plots                              many plots in read areas, including the rad area 
                                                                                                   that means "not safe" AND "not Eco"

With such an application, Insurance Companies will be able to know exactly how you drive :-)



Questions :

NEXYAD on Twitter :

NEXYAD on Facebook :

Official NEXYAD website :

To read more :