Can Your Car Make You A Better Driver?
The telematics revolution is upon us. Over the next few years it will become legislation that telematics are installed in all cars to verify insurance claims. Telematics and dash-cams will record all accidents and incidents imposed upon the car for use by insurance companies. They will be protected by Data Protection, and only used by the insurers, which is fine; however there is one huge question that arises in regards to the legislation. With all of the technology that is being installed in cars, what is the direct benefit to the user?
This may sound like a counterproductive question, however, there are good reasons behind asking it. There is a passive benefit for the user, in the case of car insurers being able to see exactly what has gone wrong with an accident or crash, but where is the active benefit for users? What can users get out of this technology on a day-by-day basis?
The answer is a clear and innovative one. Where insurers are installing new technology in cars, it is possible for the driver to also get hold of the information it is broadcasting to the insurer. This information can then be used for the driver’s benefit, and it can even be used to make the driver better. How? Two words can be used here – smartphone integration.
It is predicted that 95% of the UK population will have smartphones by 2020. These can easily be connected with the technology inside a car to track the data the telematics and cameras get. It will be possible for drivers to harvest their own data and track how they drive themselves. Using apps on the phone it is possible to track the car and cross-reference data with the telematics box. This data can then be used to directly give advice to the driver on how well they drive, where they could benefit from slowing down, where they could afford to speed up, and how to save money on their petrol by driving more economically.
There has been a fair amount of bad press surrounding the mandatory installation of cameras and telematics boxes in cars over the next five years. These are only regulations for new cars and any data collected by the insurers has to, by law, be accessible to the driver. These boxes cannot be used to bring a criminal conviction against the driver for unsafe driving, however, they can be used to bring a conviction in the case of a crash.
Thus this data can be used to help drivers create their own profile about how they drive. It can help them improve through knowledge and empirical evidence when it is needed.
What is interesting, for drivers, is that Aviva already have an app to help this happen. The Aviva app uses data collected when driving to give a rough idea about how well the user is driving. They are then given a safe score, something that, in some households, has been gamified. Husbands and wives have left reviews saying how it has created a healthy competition between them, a competition that is actually making them better drivers.