OCTO Telematics enables distracted driving feature across its lineup to enhance safety

Octo Telematics announced Tuesday its Distracted Driving scoring and analysis feature, now available within its suite of telematics products for both in-vehicle and mobile solutions: Octo Glimpse, Octo Vantage, Octo Fleet, and Octo Surround. The timely launch in April, which is Distracted Driving Awareness month, delivers this crucial safety feature to all Octo Insurance partners and their UBI policyholders.

Built upon Octo’s telematics and usage-based insurance (UBI) programs, its distracted driving feature monitors how the phone is being used during a trip, detects and analyses several risky behaviors with different severity levels and communicates the final details and score to the Insurance partner and their UBI policyholder.

Unlike other penalty-focused distracted driving apps that may shut off a smartphone altogether, Octo delivers an education-based approach, monitoring and communicating feedback to drivers so they better understand the risks, and working with insurance customers to incentivize drivers to stay off their phones while driving.

Octo has more than 4.9 million connected users and one of the largest global databases of telematics data, with over 155 billion miles of driving data collected and 397,000 crashes and insurance events analyzed, as of March 31, 2017. Octo applies proprietary algorithms to this database to deliver new insights into driver risk, informing solutions that benefit both auto insurance companies and policyholders. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in Boston, Rome, Stuttgart, Madrid, and Sao Paulo.

The integration aligns with Octo’s membership in – and commitment to – Together for Safer Roads (TSR), an innovative coalition that brings together global private-sector companies to focus on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries from road traffic collisions. Other corporate members include AB InBev, AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, iHeartMedia, PepsiCo, Republic Services, Ryder, UPS and Walmart.

“Distracted driving is a serious public safety issue and telematics has a lot to offer in terms of solutions,” said Greg Martin, chief operating officer and executive director of Together for Safer Roads (TSR). “As a member of TSR, Octo demonstrates its 15-year commitment to making our roads safer, and this feature is one of the many ways it showcases this, through incentivizing and educating drivers with proactive communication and scoring.”

In order to support the widespread adoption of this important road safety feature, Octo’s distracted driving feature is automatically available to any Octo insurance partner, at no additional cost.

“Our flexible platform allows us to work directly with insurance partners to build a customized distracted driving solution or one that fits into their existing UBI programs,” said Nino Tarantino, CEO of Octo North America. “Whether its increased discounts, rewards programs or other incentives, our approach is reward-based, not penalty-based, which is more effective in policyholder adoption of any type of telematics.”

Distracted driving is a growing epidemic in the U.S., as the advent of smart phones and connected car features continue to take drivers’ attention off the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities from “distraction-affected” crashes rose 8.8 percent to 3,477 from 3,197 in 2015, and 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in that same year.

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