TU talks to Kevin Henderson, general manager of data services at Trimble, about the rise and importance of insurance telematics in the fleet space
What does your company/department do?
Trimble is a leading provider of advanced positioning solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability.
Though best known for GPS technology, Trimble integrates a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical, and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions.
Our department is responsible for delivering telematics solutions to the market, enabling businesses of various sizes and diverse global markets to increase fleet productivity while reducing fuel costs, decreasing carbon emissions, improving safety, and streamlining operations.
What is your role and experience in the Insurance Telematics market?
We have only publicly disclosed our role in the commercial insurance telematics market. In that market Trimble offers end-to-end solutions that help companies with fleets reduce accidents and liability in addition to managing fleet productivity.
Trimble’s combined solution exposes information such as hard acceleration, hard braking, hard turns, excessive speeding, idling, miles driven, carbon footprint and fuel use, and more.
The combined information can simultaneously help companies identify and coach drivers that put a company’s safety record at risk and improve fleet operation efficiency.
How important is the role of telematics currently throughout the Insurance market space?
We see telematics being a vital component in the insurance market space. For example, Zurich in North America announced a program in January that works by combining data from telematics providers with Zurich’s analytical tools to turn the data into meaningful insights that help fleet managers reduce their fleet operating costs and improve driver safety.
These programs are seen as a way to reduce costs for both fleets and insurance carriers by reducing accidents and improving fleets’ public image by promoting a safe driver culture.
What is needed for the large-scale success of PAYD/Usage Based Insurance?
PAYD insurance is growing in popularity and is seen by consumers and early adopters as a way to save money on insurance.
Educating the consumer market, breaking down the privacy concerns, and making PAYD solutions readily available in the consumer space are some of the short-term challenges before PAYD becomes a large-scale success.
How do you view the role of Auto OEMs in the Insurance Telematics arena?
OnStar has been an innovator in PAYD in the United States. We expect to see continued innovation.
Where do you see the Insurance Telematics Industry heading in the next 5 years?
In fleet telematics we believe that major fleet insurance carriers will align with key telematics providers who can provide a comprehensive solution suite to monitor driver behavior, prevent distracted driving, manage fatigue, maintain vehicle health/efficiency, and push for implementation of technologies that can proactively reduce accidents.
Telematics offerings will become richer, more reliable, and cost-effective for wide commercial deployment. There will be a more complete ecosystem of offerings to promote a safer environment for fleet drivers on the road.
More insurers will announce PAYD insurance programs and there will be greater consumer acceptance.