A smartphone is a more powerful driving tool than previously thought. Beyond guiding a driver’s route or providing traffic updates, smartphones can now have a powerful effect on improving driver safety and measuring risk while on the road.
“Zendrive has invented a new way of collecting this road safety data by using phone sensors instead of onboard diagnostics and other embedded systems. On top of this data collection, their technology measures and describes this behavior in useful ways which lend themselves to easy risk analysis.”
- Ohad Samet, CEO of TrueAccord and an expert in risk assessment via behavioral analytics
Traditionally, the automotive industry has used on board diagnostics (OBD), which uses sensors embedded in automobiles, to analyze the behavior of the car. While these types of traditional hardware solutions can measure speed, accelerator throttle, and various engine conditions, our research has shown that smartphones are capable of many of the same measurements.
Today we released a new whitepaper showing that smartphones can measure driver speeding with relative accuracy – 98 percent with the GPS turned on and 94 percent with the GPS turned off (to conserve energy). This means that a smartphone, which most drivers already have in their pocket, could replace this OBD functionality with no need for additional hardware.
“Measuring speeding is only the first step in assessing driver risk. Phone sensor inputs can be granular enough to calculate other aggressive driving behaviors like fast acceleration and hard braking. And given the rich understanding of a phone’s movements and internet connectivity, it is possible to apply additional contextual information to the risk analysis.”
- Pankaj Risbood, VP of Data and Co-Founder of Zendrive
A driver’s distraction through texts and phone calls, the weather, the time of day, and how long the driver has been on the road are all relevant inputs to a driver’s overall risk on the road.
This leads to Driver-Centric Analytics: unlike OBD, smartphones can also measure the behavior of the driver, not just the behavior of the car, resulting in much richer insights. As machine learning adds a new layer of sophistication to the analysis possible, smartphones become an even more powerful tool for monitoring risky driving behavior and improve road safety.
“As transportation evolves to include more fluid options for cars and drivers, including ridesharing and car sharing, insurance must evolve with it,” says Tim Nee, of Teach Insurance Resources.
“The future of motor vehicle insurance will include improved risk measurement for an individual driver’s behaviors, such as speeding, risky operator habits, and total amount of driving. Better risk management means lower insurance prices, and new technology will be a key enabler toward achieving that goal.”