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Allstate seeks patent for telematics-based driving assessment technology

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Allstate has filed a patent application for technology that would allow telematics-based driving assessment in real time.

According to the application for a “Vehicle telematics based driving assessment,” aspects of the patent “provide effective, efficient, scalable, and convenient technical solutions that address and overcome the technical problems associated with driving assessment systems.”

“As part of our multi-year Transformative Growth strategy, Allstate is always developing affordable, simple and connected products that can empower our customers,” Allstate told Repairer Driven News. “This includes our telematics solutions, such as Drivewise and Milewise, which allow customers to share their driving information and deliver personalized feedback that gives them more control over their auto insurance costs and encourages safe driving.”

In the application, Allstate says that insurers are interested in telematics “because they would like to evaluate the risk associated with customers and potential customers.” It adds that other organizations “may be interested in such information to determine a person’s behavior,” and that “parents or other guardians might be interested in monitoring a vehicle carrying their children or other dependents.”

It notes that systems now in use might not allow data to be “evaluated in real time or when the vehicle is moving so it may be difficult for people and organizations to take action in response to the telematics data in a timely manner.”

“As more vehicle telematics data becomes available, it becomes more difficult to strike a balance between providing too much information and too little information,” the application says. Reporting too little information may lead recipients to ignore the data, reducing the effectiveness of monitoring driving behavior, while reporting too much might “cause false alarms or unnecessary concerns.” For that reason, “new systems, devices, methodologies and the like” are needed to collect and communicate data.

The patent application describes a system that includes a computing device to send data from the vehicle’s sensors, and a second device to receive those signals and create “a behavior score” for each driving session.

The system would monitor the vehicle’s ignition to start and stop the assessment application, and would report when the vehicle exceeds a “velocity threshold.” That report would include the vehicle location, time of day, day of the week and miles driven during the night, and how long the vehicle was over the threshold.

It would also identify the “quantity of braking events” during the time the speed was over the threshold, including “braking events that exceeded the deceleration threshold” during that time.

Using location data, the system would determine the posted speed limits for the roads traveled and calculate the percentage of miles driven over the speed limit during each trip.

The straight-line distance from the starting and ending points of the trip would be calculated as well and compared to the total distance traveled by the vehicle.

All of these measurements would be used to “categorize the user of the vehicle based on the behavior score,” the application says. The system could be used to “categorize the driver based on the likelihood of being involved in an accident and determine and/or identify an insurance policy for the driver based on the categorization,” it says.

The system could rely on vehicle sensors that monitor “impact to the body of the vehicle, air bag deployment, headlight usage, brake light operation, door opening and closing, door locking and unlocking, cruise control usage, hazard light usage, windshield wiper usage, horn usage, turn signal usage, seat belt usage, phone and radio usage within the vehicle, internal decibel levels, and other data collected by the vehicle’s computer systems,” the application says.

Allstate currently offers two usage-based insurance (UBI) programs, Milewise and Drivewise.

Drivewise is a program that provides certain rewards, including a possible discount, to drivers who exhibit safe driving behaviors. Milewise is a mileage-based program that can offer savings to low-mileage drivers.

In 2016, Allstate founded an analytics company called Arity. During a November 2021 conference call, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson said the 600 billion miles of driving data Arity has collected has created “significant value” for Allstate.

“We help people do marketing, more effectively and efficiently. And so we’re really building quite a platform that will do a number of things,” he said.

Among those, he said, are not only providing data for Allstate’s own setting of prices but selling that data and analysis to other insurers as well.

Beyond that, Arity is developing a rating services organization that has been expanded to include lead generation, Wilson said. Between its own data and that purchased from outside the company, “we’re pulling data on a 100 million cars per day right now,” he said.

More information

Allstate raises auto insurance rates as claim severity increases, discusses value of telematics products

Arity behavior database could help body shops market to crash-prone drivers


Featured image by Andrey Suslov/iStock

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