We have discussed the nature of Pay As You Drive car insurance and how it can allow vehicle owners to find fair and affordable insurance. But how do we measure this “As You Drive” element in times when there is so much insurance fraud?
The narrow or limited definition of Pay As You Drive is easy to understand and as easy to measure! This focuses merely on HOW MUCH or HOW FAR you drive the vehicle. Measurement through odometer audits involves the collection of odometer data by a certified business. These odometer audits would usually be performed when a vehicle’s insurance is renewed, in most cases once a year.
Can we measure how the person drives instead of merely how far he drives?
This question can best be answered by the experts in the field of fleet management technology. Fleet managers are well aware that measurement of driver behaviour can save not only fuel costs, but also costs of vehicle maintenance, tyre wear and tear and also increase productivity.
I have approached DigiCore, an international leader in fleet management technology to provide some clarity and explain to us how this works. The JSE-listed DigiCore Holdings group specialises in the research, design, development, manufacture, sales and support of technologically advanced GPS/GSM fleet management and vehicle tracking solutions.
DigiCore works in partnership with its customers to develop solutions that deliver measurable business and operational benefits by providing total visibility and control of mobile assets and mobile work forces. A wide range of vehicle location, fleet management, satellite navigation, workflow, mobile job planning and security tools are utilised to provide commercial vehicle, van and car fleet operators with scaleable solutions that offer flexibility, reliability and functionality.
Modern fleet management technology will assist with the following:
- Discourage and report on unacceptable driving behaviour.
- Provide an in-vehicle real time driver training assistance.
- Generate driver and base station alerts when predefined conditions are detected that can lead to roll-overs / tip-overs.
- Provide immediate Base station alerts (near real time) of roll-over and high G forces accidents.
- Provide high resolution data that can prove or disprove driver actions leading up and after vehicle accidents.
- Provide various levels of information to identify harsh acceleration, harsh braking and harsh cornering.
How does this fleet management technology used to measure driving behaviour work?
DigiCore has provided important insights for vehicle owners about some of the technology in the C-track system. The technology developed and used by C-track is based on 3 accelerometers, measuring acceleration through the 3 axles of the vehicle. In the more advanced systems we will find the addition of 2 or 3 Gyro’s – i.e. the IMS sensor in large trucks. [Gyro’s measure the tempo at which the vehicle turns around all 3 of the axles, i.e. pitch, roll and yaw.]
With this technique and information the fleet manager is able to measure the movement of the vehicle in 3 dimensions similar to the manner by which this is measured for aircraft. GPS data is added [date, time, speed, compass direction and location] to complete the picture.
Vehicle movement sensors are capable of detecting indicators such as:
- Impacts on the vehicle – [Important in accident investigation]
- Front/Rear Impact
- Left/Right Impact
- Upward Impact
- Downward Impact
- Harsh Driving(less severe)
- Harsh Acceleration
- Harsh Braking
- Harsh Cornering
- Harsh Bump (Up) – (A bump from below)
- Harsh Bump (Down) – (A bump from above)
- Roll and Pitch movement
- Severe Tilt of the vehicle
Can this assist the Car Insurer for the purposes of Pay As You Drive?
This complete picture provided by advanced systems is not necessarily required by the vehicle insurance industry and for this purposes only the acceleration meters and GPS in the cheaper “insurance units” is required.
As this also includes the GPS and GSM modem for onboard communication, it is able to do everything that the C-track Secure does, i.e. internet access for the vehicle owner, stolen vehicle recovery [SVR], emergency assistance, full vehicle tracking etc.
This provides most valuable data to the car insurer on the risks to vehicle damage and loss. It will not only show speeding and harsh braking but also ensure that the driver stays on the pre-planned route and avoid danger areas with high criminal activity. The stolen vehicle recovery section will also reduce the risk of truck hijacking and reduce car insurance premiums.
Advice for the Vehicle Owner
You need not be the owner of a fleet of vehicles to enjoy the insurance benefits from this technology. If you use the vehicle and driver monitoring technology – you WILL be reducing the risks of vehicle accidents and vehicle loss – and SHOULD qualify for reduced car insurance premiums!
We will advise vehicle owners to communicate with their vehicle tracking company and their insurer and confirm that they are indeed enjoying these benefits. These tools should allow you to benefit from any Pay As You Drive Car Insurance policy!!