Consumers, carmakers and insurers waking up to benefits of telematics

The car industry is changing dramatically as a result of emerging technologies and the interconnectedness of consumers, their smartphone devices and third-party service providers.

Data is being generated at a rapid pace, but consumers often have instinctive concerns about what their in-car information might reveal. Nonetheless, there are now very clear value propositions and business models emerging that show great promise as methods of helping drivers save money and enjoy enhanced user experiences in return for their data.

In the car industry, manufacturers and insurers are realising that they’re creating lots of data without yet being sure how to monetise it as effectively

“People don’t necessarily think about it in different parts of their lives, but with services like Facebook, essentially what they have done is give away quite a lot of their personal data in return for a free service that they really like,” says Andrew Lee, head of market intelligence and analysis at Octo Telematics. “In the car industry, manufacturers and insurers are realising that they’re creating lots of data without yet being sure how to monetise it as effectively.”

This is where companies such as Octo Telematics are stepping in to provide much-needed clarity. Its solutions offer a platform for collecting and analysing a vast amount of data, generating a wealth of contextual information on driving styles.

For carmakers, this opens up huge potential in predictive maintenance, as well as being able to sell warranty and service packages specific to driving styles and environments. “Manufacturers now think of not only how to sell a car, but how to provide ongoing services to the customer, keeping them coming back,” says Mr Lee. “By understanding how each person drives, they can better price ongoing servicing, tailor leasing arrangements and even vastly improve their choice of next car to offer to the customer.”

Meanwhile, for insurers, there is the opportunity to provide much more personalised services to customers. “They can reposition themselves as a service that looks after drivers, instead of something drivers have to have,” he explains. “Insurance can be much better priced for safer motorists. A lot of people assume they’re worse drivers than they actually are and think telematics will demonstrate that, but in reality they’re often paying a premium without it because their insurer has so little data on them.”

There are further benefits in terms of safety, he notes. “If a connected car is in a road accident, then an insurer can automatically call for assistance as well as understanding more about the accident, making the driver safer and also reducing the administrative paperwork,” says Mr Lee.

Working with some of the world’s largest car manufacturers and insurers, Octo Telematics is aiming to make the use of vehicle and driver-related data a much more widely understood and appreciated process. Among them it has a partnership with the finance arm of Renault, enabling the manufacturer to offer customers personalised services and rewards for safe driving, while helping fleet managers with dashboards of drivers’ safety.

Octo Telematics’ datasets are the largest in the world, and already incorporate 207 billion miles of data, detailed analysis of 447,000 car accidents and some 5.6 million connected users. Its proposition to industry partners is that the more data end-users are willing to share, the more benefits they will see, helping firms develop real brand loyalty.

Carmakers and insurers are increasingly simplifying their data-based services, bundling them as part of the total cost or only charging on the basis that drivers see clear benefits. Ultimately, the aim is to encourage greater engagement with connected car services as the journey accelerates towards driverless vehicles and radically expanded internet of things integration.

To find out how to use telematics data to improve and deepen the services you offer to drivers please visit