Automotive technology supplier ERM Advanced Telematics, whose products have been installed in over 5 million vehicles around the world, is launching three new products that will help insurance companies to determine the price of car insurance policies, the company said. The product line is part of a new strategy for ERM which is based on UBI (Usage Based Insurance). This strategy supplies a response to demands by insurance companies for a product capable of monitoring driver behavior and location that can be sent by mail to the end user and is easily installed by the customer.
ERM's UBI solutions are based on its Safety technology for monitoring driver behavior. The technology enables the receiving of warnings regarding any deviation from acceptable driving, which has been determined by the type of vehicle under inspection. The technology makes use of the tracking unit's GPS and has the capability of combining multiple locations and speeds relating to a range of events that it warns about. The new products will join the StartLink OBD, the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) unit that was launched by ERM around three years ago.
The first product in the new UBI series, StartLink OnBat, is already available for purchase in more than 65 countries where ERM is active. The other new products, the UBI-Tag and UBI-Plug, are scheduled to be on the market during the second quarter of 2019.
The StarLink OnBat, a miniature monitoring and tracking device, has only minimal installation requirements, namely connecting two wires to the vehicle battery. This can be carried out by the end user himself or herself. The product comes with an internal backup battery, GPS and a cellular modem in a small, waterproof (IP 67) encasement, which contains ERM's Safety technology for monitoring driver behavior. After installation, the device sends data regarding a driver's behavior and location to the service provider's servers or to the insurance company based on a pre-determined frequency.
The UBI Tag is a sensor that monitors driver behavior and its installation involves a simple attachment. The tag comes with a single use battery that can be replaced by the customer, and lasts for three years. ERM's Safety technology for driver monitoring and location tracking is incorporated in the product along with the BLE (Bluetooth low energy) interface. After the installation, the UBI Tag sends warnings about driving behavior via a dedicated app installed on the driver's cell phone directly to the server of the service provider or the insurance company.
The installation of the UBI Plug, which will be on the market soon, will be simple using the vehicle's lighter socket. The UBI Plug will also be equipped with ERM's Safety technology for driver monitoring and location tracking, a GPS module and with a BLE interface and a USB charging socket. Once installed, the UBI Plug will monitor the driver's behavior regarding location and driving speed and will transmit warnings of any deviation from normal driving behavior via the dedicated app on the driver's cell phone to the server of the service provider or insurance company.
Eitan Kirshenboim, CMO at ERM Advanced Telematics, says “insurance companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce risk in the pricing of car insurance policies, and ERM's UBI telematics-based technologies supply an excellent means of doing so. The new products in our UBI strategy enable insurance companies to understand the driving behavior of their customers, the time spent driving and the location, and extract from this data the exact level of risk associated with each driver. Based on this information, the insurance company can better determine the price of a policy and offer substantial discounts to safe drivers.”
Kirshenboim adds: “Up to now, many insurance companies based their UBI solutions on SIM based products that could be connected to an OBD socket and required the companies to pay for communications costs with the driver monitoring and tracking device. The StarLink OnBat continues along these lines but reduces the chances of the device being interrupted, since it is installed under the hood. In addition, ERM's UBI Tag and UBI Plug are characterized by a very simple installment process by the end user himself or herself. The devices use Bluetooth communications, a cellular app, and a cellular modem of the driver's own cell phone and by so doing cancel the insurers' communications charges. The ERM set of solutions makes it easier for the insurer to price policies in a way that compensates safe drivers while managing risk over an extended period. At the same time, the solutions offer various types of installments and possible branding of the solution based on a wide variety of devices. ERM is committed to supplying the insurance industry with a line of products that will meet the developing needs of the industry in a consistent and dynamic manner over the long-term.”