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The world today creates and collects data at an unprecedented rate, with current technologies giving people access to mountains of information regarding a person's habits, feelings, personality, location, and everything else. Coming from an insurance background, I've always appreciated the availability of such data, but data – no matter the quantity – is useless without proper context. The fact that a person walked 20,000 steps in a day can mean entirely different things depending on if they're an athlete or an office worker.
At Raxel Telematics, we employ telematic data – using HERE Location Services to provide real-world context for that data – to provide our clients with a complete picture of driver behavior while on the road making deliveries. By seeing the full picture, we're also able to more accurately rate driver performance and safety.
What is telematics?
Telematics refers to the technologies involved in the recording and transfer of information, for vehicles, smartphones and other means.
Telematic systems are split into two major components: the data source, or recorder; and the platform that receives and processes that data. Raxel mainly handles the latter, and we use the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and barometer sensor found in most smartphones to cover the former. We do mobile telematics too and pass the data on to our device agnostic telematics platform.
HERE Location Services gives us context with which to properly analyze the data we collect from a driver's phone. For example, if the phone tells us a driver just rapidly accelerated, HERE maps can tell us whether the driver is doing so on a highway, getting up to speed; or at an intersection trying to beat a yellow light - an important distinction when properly gauging driver behavior.
Location data including speed limits, rules of the road, and road surface condition enhances telematic data to create a more realistic picture of how drivers make the decisions they do. Based on the driver behaviors, we are able to provide real-time alerts and warnings to improve safety and reduce insurance claims.
Having a more reliable analysis of driver data and behavior lets us more accurately rate drivers for both the benefit of the drivers and the client. We're able to rate drivers on a scale of 0 to 100 based on their safety and reliability, and insurance companies can then use those ratings to define different jobs and incentives for each driver.
Drivers can, of course, see their own ranking and how its determined, and then use the enhanced location information provided by Raxel and HERE, learn how to improve their driving to make them more attractive candidates for jobs and extra rewards from clients. And in the case of an accident, we're able to provide incredibly detailed information about the incident, protecting the driver if they weren't at fault, and making it easier to file claims.
With just a smartphone and an assist from HERE, we're able to more accurately track drivers, incentivize better behavior – and hopefully – increase both safety and reliability.