Predicting driver risks

Jan. 31, 2008
This week, Ivox has announced its patent-pending DriverScore 2.0, a driver risk management system. It provides an objective measurement of individual driving behavior

This week, Ivox has announced its patent-pending DriverScore 2.0, a driver risk management system. It provides an objective measurement of individual driving behavior that, when analyzed and compared to Ivox's repository of GPS, geospatial and accelerometer information, gives an accurate picture of relative driving performance risk, said the firm

Ivox's DriverScore makes use of a "black box" device embedded within an individual's vehicle, which gathers ongoing data about a driver's behavior, including rapid acceleration, hard braking, lane changes, speed, location, time of day and other factors and then transmits it wirelessly. “We are device-agnostic,” says Craig Lotz, Ivox president. “We really don’t care where the data comes from as long as it has the granularity we need.”

This data is then analyzed through algorithms to create a risk-adjusted, objective assessment of driver conduct—the “driver score.” Fleets can use the score to help ensure the safety of their drivers and other motorists on the road. “We have thousands of insurance claims on file,” said Lotz. “We can compare an individual driver’s performance to similar drivers and look for patterns, and there are always patterns. Ivox's technology provides the data necessary to identify high-risk motorists before an accident occurs.”

According to the company, the 2.0 version of the software provides scalability and added functionality to make it even easier for fleets to implement and benefit from the technology. “The new version really enables us to scale the solution,” said Lotz. “We can accommodate more than 100,000 vehicles on the system now and soon we will have no limit.”

DriverScore may be used as a:
  • Management and training tool for fleets
  • Determinant for driver hiring and compensation
  • Component for price setting of commercial, personal and reinsurance policies for self-insured private fleets
  • Method to more accurately assess the underwriting risk associated with a particular driver

Ivox reports that it has more than 15,000 vehicle years of risk-adjusted GPS data, the largest repository of personal driving data linked to claims data. This is important in creating the company’s predictive driving performance models.

"Insurers are increasingly using tools like predictive modeling to be able to limit risks and improve underwriting profitability," said Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, research vp with the Gartner Group. "Using tools to perform real-time data analysis, to predict driving risks and accident likelihood, will ultimately help insurers meet these business requirements. Used for fleet insurance, this gives insurers the opportunity to distinguish safe drivers from drivers who are simply accident-free, promoting safer driving and accident prevention."

"As driver shortages and fuel prices continue to increase, fleets are looking for ways to reduce costs," said Gregg Warren, CEO of Ivox. "By allowing fleets to more accurately reward good performance and prevent dangerous driving behavior, we hope to help keep drivers safe while reducing insurance costs, typically the third highest line-item expense for large fleets."

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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