Patents Awarded for Using Smartphone Sensors to Distinguish Between Driver and Passenger
As the world of personal mobility evolves from the traditional single driver, single car paradigm to a world of car sharing, ride sharing, and ultimately self-driving cars, TrueMotion is developing the foundation for a Connected Driver Network. Such a network will ultimately aggregate data from mobile devices from everyone on the roads, including drivers and passengers across all modes of transportation, helping to increase efficiency and reduce accidents. TrueMotion’s technology is in use by leading insurers and transportation companies, to provide usage-based insurance and visibility into driver safety.
“Since smartphones outnumber cars by more than 1 billion, and the average lifespan of a vehicle is 12 years, we can create a Connected Driver Network more quickly through phone-based applications than by waiting for every car to be connected,” said Vance Loiselle, CEO of TrueMotion. “TrueMotion’s technology can properly identify whether the phone belongs to the driver or the passenger of the vehicle in motion, a key component for the creation of a Connected Driver Network.”
The creation of a Connected Driver Network will be accelerated by the mass adoption of usage-based insurance programs, which reward safe drivers with lower premiums. Analysts predict up to 70 percent of insurance companies will offer opt-in UBI programs within the next four years. Given the prevalence of smartphones, the ease of app updates and zero-cost of hardware, phone-based apps are the key to large scale UBI implementation and scoring.
“What TrueMotion has developed to accurately predict the type of trip and who is driving is fundamental to an effective UBI program,” said Dave Pratt, GM of Usage-Based Insurance at Progressive. “We’re very bullish on the technology and its current and future applications.”
TrueMotion leverages a collection of methods to identify when someone is a driver and when he or she is not. For example, it has patented technology that can determine if the user is the driver by analyzing how the individual gets into and out of a car, and the movement of the phone during that transition (indicating driver’s side access — patent number 8,862,486). Additionally, the position of the phone in the vehicle relative to the vehicle frame (patent number 14/477,519) is equally important.
After each trip, TrueMotion machine learning and data analytics automatically applies what is known about the driver with what is known about the trip, and determines whether or not the user was the driver. The user only receives a driving score for the trip if he or she is accurately determined to be the driver. The TrueMotion app runs automatically in the background (with nearly unnoticed battery drain and data usage), with no user input or interaction required. All information tracked is stored securely and kept private.
“Every driver has a unique ‘signature’ — his or her own identifiable pattern,” said Brad Cordova, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at TrueMotion and inventor of the patents. “When combined with external data points, we can differentiate between drivers and passengers; whether you are in a car, on a bus, riding a bike or sitting on a plane. This level of precision underpins the UBI industry and is a gateway to building networks of connected drivers.”
Headquartered in Boston, Mass., TrueMotion brings the power of data and mobile technology to address the growing problem of distracted driving, which is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims each year. TrueMotion’s technology platform enables insurance companies to distinguish between safe and risky drivers, reward safe drivers with discounts on their insurance and help reduce the number of driving accidents, leading to safer roads for all. More information is available at goTrueMotion.com.
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