Running a red light. Texting while driving. Teenage drivers. While you’re driving, how do you feel seeing any of these scenarios occurring in the next lane? Although the thought of unsafe drivers on the road is nothing new, the bigger challenge today is the increase in distracted drivers ignoring the warnings in digital highway signage, real life traumatic commercials, or close encounter incidents.

If smart cars and smart phones can capture data, can they also provide actionable information for a driver to prevent accidents? Can this data influence drivers to own a greater sense of social responsibility on the roadways?

Telematics is in for the long haul

“The increase in safety awareness, technological advancement and the need for  safety measures are driving the growth of automotive telematics market,” reports Research and Markets in their October 2016 World Automotive Forecast for 2014-2022.

Telematics technologies have grown quite a bit over the last 10 years. The maturity of telematics has shifted from “simple” GPS location data to now being able to track how far, how fast and under what conditions a person is driving.

In the case of insurance carriers, telematics analysis is beginning to pinpoint trouble, and with proper reporting, could potentially help drivers avoid serious accidents.

Telematics in action

In 2016, a large insurance company launched a program aimed at young drivers who just got their driving permit or license.

Accident statistics show that 16-19 year older are at highest risk of being involved in an accident.  In 2014, 2,270 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, young people ages 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries.

This insurer made it a top priority to design a telematics program to help young drivers navigate the road safely and minimize motor vehicle injuries. The company worked with Cognizant to quickly get their initiative underway and committed to using a pre-built telematics solution called Cognizant GeoLocusTM.  Cognizant GeoLocus is a cloud-based platform, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), that tracks vehicles using a smart phone or auto installed device. It also provides real-time identification of significant driving events, automates alerts and emergency responses, as well as analyzes vehicle telematics data to provide insights to its users.

Slicing and dicing telematics data

DriveSafe appFirst the insurance provider launched a mobile app to capture data driving behavior and mobile usage events that typically distract young drivers. The app was designed to use telematics data to:

  1. Provide  insight of driving behavior by monitoring the first 6,000+ miles of driving;
  2. Offer feedback and useful tips on good driving habits to become a more experienced driver;
  3. Reinforce good driving behavior choices with gamification reward programs;
  4. Assign a coach to monitor driving habits and use ‘deals’ to encourage the young driver to improve their driving; and,
  5. Ultimately, reduce young driver accidents.

The client also launched a website to provide new drivers useful information and access to a comprehensive range of relevant products. This site includes practical details of getting your driving licence. There are short videos to help a new driver to prepare for the driving test and obtain a license.

The social impact of the youth safe driving program is gaining much attention from young drivers, parents, and the company enterprise-wide. Who wouldn’t desire a tool at their fingertips that reinforces healthy driving habits, rewards you for good progress, and ultimately prevents accidents or saves lives. The client is committed to using telematics technology and is proud to be a part of making a positive change to road safety with young drivers.

The digital era

Digital and innovative leaders will power cars to eventually drive themselves–providing even a safer and more enjoyable, productive and reliable experience for everyone. Until then, consider shifting to a telematics platform to provide your customers and insurance carriers with the ability to improve driver safety and save more lives.

Read more about Cognizant’s GeoLocus Telematics solution.

Ponram Subramanian

Ponram Subramanian

Ponram is an Associate Director at Cognizant and leads the Financial Services verticals for Cognizant Cloud Services Practice.

  • Kannan Sreedhar

    A good article touting the benefits of the evolution of telematics in making our roads safer. However, with the impending surge in the introduction of self-driving and autonomous vehicles that integrate telematics information with weather analytics, transportation grid information as well as social information, I see a future (not too far), bot based personalized travel.

    In this environment of “being digital”, the very concept of driver based vehicle insurance becomes obsolete. In this utopia of driver-less cars, car-share models and hyperloop technology, how do we assign liability and what will be the new models of risk mitigation?

    Will finally the love affair with high horsepower, fossil fuel depleting, toxin emitting combustion engines draw to a close!!