From protection to prevention
Insurance plays an important part in people’s lives – helping them to protect their loved ones and properties, and enabling them to claim damages and receive financial compensation, when something goes wrong. More and more insurers are shifting their focus from protecting people and properties, to risk reduction and prevention, with new technologies helping to make this shift possible. Devices like smartphones and smart watches accompany people everywhere, giving them access to a range of services and connecting them directly to different service providers, but also by helping to collect data and providing insights into people’s behaviour.
Driving behaviour is a good example: it is now possible to collect concrete driving data through people’s smartphones. This data can be used to study risky behaviours and enable companies to develop plug and play solutions for their customers, alerting them to risky manoeuvres or providing other solutions to prevent accidents. This is one of the focus areas of Movingdots, Swiss Re's technology hub in the automotive and mobility space, in developing applications that combine advanced technologies with an intuitive customer experience, essential for success in this area.
Swiss Re's telematics app, Coloride, has been developed to bring risk reduction and prevention to the field of motor insurance. Coloride can be easily installed on a smartphone and is able to analyse driving behaviours and raise awareness about dangerous driving conducts. The app helps drivers prevent risks, through Coloride's detection module, developed to spot dangerous driving habits like harsh manoeuvres and phone distractions.
How Coloride analyses driving behaviour
A core component of Coloride is the detection of driving habits, which make up a person’s driving behaviour, like certain manoeuvres and phone distractions that increase the risk of accidents. Figure 1 shows the steps, from the app detecting certain driving manoeuvres to providing insights to both the driver and the insurance company.
Figure 1. Coloride: from detecting driving risky behaviours to informing the driver and insurance
Coloride can identify several driving manoeuvres, such as acceleration, braking, cornering, harsh steering, driving around roundabouts and at junctions, U-turns, all based on raw accelerometer-data and GPS signals collected directly from embedded sensors in drivers’ smartphones.
These data are then processed, using standard and novel signal-processing methods to remove noise and transform it into useful information that describes the car's motions. Swiss Re's Advanced Analytics team has developed proprietary algorithms to align phone accelerometer signals to the car reference frame, so that they can be used in determining the vehicle motion dynamics. This is a crucial step in the process, because drivers are not asked to put their mobile phone in any type of holder to keep it stationary when driving, so the algorithm must distinguish all the different orientations that the phone could assume during the trip and apply the proper corrections to align its signals with the vehicle’s motion frame. In addition, GPS signals are enriched with contextual map content from Swiss Re’s partner HERE. This helps to detect and further characterise manoeuvres such as harsh braking in front of a pedestrian crossing or near a school zone.
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