In 2016, vehicle collisions claimed more than 40,000 lives, representing a surge of 14 percent over two years.
In other words, more drivers hit the road, never to make it home again. Even for those who walk away from a crash, there can be physical or psychological scars. The financial cost may be determined, but the human toll — to the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bike riders, loved ones — is incalculable.
Reducing fatalities and collisions is our singular mission, and we’re using data to do it. We believe that a deeper understanding of how people drive leads to better life-saving predictions. That’s why our team is dedicated to smart analysis of vast datasets in order to unearth information about drivers’ habits, to identify the riskiest locations for specific unsafe behaviors, and to spot how those trends are changing — not 10 or 20 years down the road, but right now, in real time.
In fact, our company just reached a major milestone: We now have had 15 billion miles of anonymized driving data analyzed. Even better, we manage to hit that figure in record time, without sacrificing accuracy, as we went from 1 billion miles in October 2016 to 15 billion in just seven months.
Consider this: Progressive, a leader in insurance telematics, took nearly two decades to reach the same number of miles analyzed. In other words, its analysis is partially based on data from driving behaviors dating all the way back to the pre-smartphone days of the ’90s. More current data matters, as was illustrated in our recent distracted driving study that found that 88 percent of all motorists use their phones while on the road. Using driver-analytics solutions that ignore distracted phone use, such as the “blackbox/OBD” hardware used by most insurers, is like trying to land a plane that has no cockpit windows.
For our overall efforts, Frost and Sullivan just recognized us as a transformational player in the insurance space, bestowing its 2017 Product Leadership Award for User-Based Insurance in North America.
All of this has happened very quickly. Indeed, we didn’t exist as a company before 2013. The company is the brainchild of our founders, ex-Facebook and Google product marketing manager Jonathan Matus and technologist Pankaj Risbood, who wanted more meaningful work beyond creating innovative technologies for what is, really, just advertising. When they saw how the industry was approaching road safety and driving behavior data, they were convinced it could be done better and tackled much faster.
We developed a platform based on smartphone sensors — not pricey hardware devices jacked into vehicle ports — and put together tools for developers to tap on some of the power of our core technology. Building developer platforms is not simple, but we’ve had plenty of experience from our time building the Android and Facebook mobile platform developer ecosystems.
We partnered with companies large and small, unlocking data from millions of drivers traveling over billions of miles. With Artificial Intelligence, we could process and analyze that data more efficiently, without sacrificing accuracy. Another benefit to our work is that, in the process, we have built tools that could radically transform fleet businesses, car-sharing operations and the insurance industry. Yes, our work could even make car insurance less expensive for people, particularly for usage-based insurance. (Imagine if you could prove your good driving behavior and avoidance of high-risk areas based on highly accurate comparisons.)
“Zendrive is at the forefront of customer traction with the power of their technology and solution,” said Ramnath Eswaravadivoo, Industry Analyst – Automotive & Transportation, Frost and Sullivan. “We anticipate that their accelerated growth and market position will continue to leapfrog industry expectations.”
We believe that massive amounts of aggregate, anonymous data will empower communities to take actions to reduce risky driving before injuries and fatalities occur. Imagine knowing where and when the most distracted driving is happening, and getting that information before you approach a dangerous intersection. Then, consider ways that communities could target those specific places and times to raise awareness about the hazards. Think of how gaining attention over such a vital piece of driving information will help prevent crashes and save lives.
Measuring and analyzing each new mile, and hitting each new milestone, is certainly a nice symbol of our growth. But more than that, they give us a deeply promising glimpse of something that only recently seemed impossible: predicting and preventing collisions, and making road deaths a thing of the past.