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Expanding capabilities with onboard telematics

Posted On: Oct. 2, 2017 12:00 AM CST

While American International Group Inc. has worked with The Floow Ltd. previously, the Smooth Driver Contest included a new element: an onboard telematics device.

“The other work we do with direct lines uses smartphones to collect the data as people drive,” according to David James, chief operating officer, The Floow. “As an organization, this was the first time we ever used a device.”

While The Floow’s telematics schemes are generally built on a smartphone application used by consumers, the systems are “device neutral,” according to Mr. James, in that driver behavior can be captured from a number of sources, ranging from a traditional “black box” to sensors and, increasingly, smartphones.

The new arrangement, however, did necessitate further development work, Mr. James said.

“For AIG, we developed a solution that worked on a device that is installed in the vehicle. Europcar installed that device into their vehicles,” he said, adding this required additional development work with the device-maker “to make sure we were getting data of the integrity we require to do the scoring for our partners.” 

An onboard telematics device has advantages, according to Hilary Browne, head of U.K. liabilities for AIG in London.

“The analytics were supplied through Floow using an onboard device which is “one of a number of telematics offerings we know from experience,” Ms. Browne said.

It is installable, she said, “because we know devices like applications and dongles have connectability issues.” The devices were installed by Europcar into its fleet of 5,000 vehicles at the rental company’s own cost, Ms. Browne said.

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