Mon Apr 29, 2019, 11:35 AM

Insurers Know Exactly How Often American Drivers Touch Their Phones

With distracted driving on the rise, phone-tracking startups try to show us we’re the problem. It’s not quite working.

By Kyle Stock
April 29, 2019, 6:00 AM EDT

The distracted driving report by Zendrive, a traffic-data startup, makes it clearer and clearer each year that millions of Americans can’t stop themselves from talking, texting and livestreaming—yes, even using FaceTime—while driving. The results have been increasingly unsettling, showing that drivers in the U.S. are becoming more likely to use their smartphones more often.

This year, in a new twist, the company took the usage data from the tens of millions of cellphones it monitors and combined it with a self-assessment to the same drivers: Are you good at focusing on the road? The worrying verdict: American drivers have no idea how often they use their phones. The most distracted drivers in Zendrive’s sample gave themselves high marks for paying attention, with roughly one-third of the worst multi-taskers considering themselves “extremely safe.”

“It’s just terrifying,” said Zendrive Chief Executive Office Jonathan Matus. “We’ve built these highly addictive experiences and people can’t help themselves.” Matus should know—he helped design Facebook’s mobile app before launching Zendrive, a service intended to help insurance companies and fleet managers identify bad drivers. Basically, he’s now trying to short-circuit all of the work he did in his previous job to hook us to our phones.

Zendrive now has its monitoring technology on 60 million phones, roughly one of every four U.S. drivers. TrueMotion, a rival, is tracking distraction and other driving metrics for eight of the top 20 U.S. auto insurers, and an additional 30,000 drivers have voluntarily downloaded the TrueMotion system in attempt to self-regulate tendencies to talk and text at the wheel.

A third provider, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, monitors distracted driving for 35 insurers, including State Farm. In addition to siphoning smartphone data, Cambridge Mobile uses a Fig Newton-sized puck that provides even better metrics on vehicle performance and phone use. This quarter, the company shipped 8 million of the devices.

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Reply Insurers Know Exactly How Often American Drivers Touch Their Phones (Original post)
RCW2014 Apr 2019 OP
akaConcernedCanuk Apr 2019 #1

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 06:46 AM

1. If there is an afterlife - I have a winner business plan . . . .


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