Tech & Communications

Tracking technology links driving habits to insurance costs

by  — 3 September 2014

A deal signed recently between Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC) and Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) will test a pilot project that links drivers’ performance to insurance plans.

Ali Saleh Al Fadala, senior deputy group CEO of QIC, said the pilot programme could be a key step to making a significant and positive difference in altering driving behaviour and increasing road safety.

As a first step, QMIC and QIC are launching a pilot project with a group of volunteers. The Masarak Telematics Platform developed by QMIC will be used to monitor and assess driver behaviour. This will eventually be used to optimise a driving ranking and assessment system that will identify a set of performance indicators that will enable the delivery of a Pay-How-You-Drive insurance plan. The hope is that these insurance plans will serve as a key motivator to keep bad driving habits in check and increase road safety.

A recent study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, that compared mortality from road crashes in 193 countries found Qatar to have one of the highest percentages of fatality rates arising from road accidents. Qatar was ranked second with 14.3 percent behind only the United Arab Emirates at 15.9 percent. 

As part of the pilot programme, more than 25 percent of the employees of QIC in Qatar have volunteered to participate in the pilot programme to determine how to make the technology available to the market. 

The intelligence programme will learn about driver behaviour through devices embedded in participating vehicles. The in-vehicle device will be able to collect data for evaluating key driving habits including harsh acceleration, harsh deceleration, over-speeding and distance driven. All these factors will be used by the Masarak iFleet cloud-based system to compute the driver scorecard, where drivers can then be compared and ranked.

Ali Saleh Al Fadala, senior deputy group CEO of QIC, commented, “As the national leader in the insurance industry, QIC is proud to partner with another national firm like QMIC to use innovative systems and technologies to introduce innovative insurance applications for road safety and for the first time in the region. This partnership is a key step to make a significant positive difference in road safety and driving behaviour.” Driver data coupled with proper incentives based on habits could influence the driving behaviour and have a significant impact on road safety.

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