Paradox: Cellphone Distraction Prevented by Cellphone

Each driver has to deal with the systemic risks such as traffic & congestion, accident-prone zones, and weather conditions. Kruzr actively alerts the driver about forthcoming risks.

Does active driving guidance which functions in real-time on smartphones serve more as a distraction and less as a safety tool? It is a popular opinion that interaction with cellphone of any kind implies danger.

The reasoning to back this is based on the fact that time and attention necessary to interact with the driver safety guidance system can be distracting. 

That argument makes intuitive sense. And it was one of the key premises used in a case filed against a leading ride hailing app, which is yet to receive a decisive judgement. The research published by a team from Columbia University showed that using the ride-hailing app resulted in increased accidents during the year-long analysis.

While that premise may or may not hold true, extending the same logic to active driver guidance system that operates in real-time falls halfway. Active driver guidance system like the one deployed by Kruzr operate on an audio interface that alerts the driver instead of making her/him leave the steering or look away from the road.

Real-time alerts are delivered throught voice to the driver to prepare him/her for the upcoming danger. These alerts range from speeding, to accident hot-spots.

In addition, it has the capability to allow only emergency messages and calls to get through with an advance notice and advice to the driver to halt for answering the incoming call.

On the other side of the argument are the ride hailing apps. The research inferred that the app was motivating drivers to make more trips and to pick up individuals from congested areas. Whereas, Kruzr is designed to motivate users to stay safe and avoid physical interaction with the mobile device in congested areas and at high speeds.

The Value of Real-Time and Data-Driven Driver Training for Insurers

Driver training is generally looked at as a risk-aversion mechanism. By reducing the probability of a crash, it allows insurers and reinsurers to mitigate the risk of paying for a claim. 

Kruzr’s platform has been designed to deliver value beyond that. By alerting the driver and nudging her/him for a change, a large portion of the risks can be mitigated. Along with that:

    1.  Personalized Risk Assessment While the driver is given the necessary alerts, the data collected can help the auto insurer understand the driver’s risk profile at a deeper level. Several data points that get collected over time using driver’s own behaviour on the road can help the auto insurer offer more risk- sensitive policy premiums that motivate the driver to be safer and help the insurer avoid claim upticks.

    2. Competitive Offerings Paired with the telematics system on the platform insurers can provide more than just insights on driver behavior. They can actively help drivers identify risk while on road and  prepare them for life-threatening scenarios which would go unseen without active safety guidance.

    3. Systemic Risk Mitigation Each driver has to deal with the systemic risks such as traffic & congestion, accident-prone zones, and weather conditions. Most conventional driver training systems would not be able to take the driver through real-life scenarios in order to prepare her/him for them. Kruzr actively alerts the driver about forthcoming risks and can also help the driver navigate through one, if that is the only option available.

In conclusion, real-time alerts from an active safety guidance system are as much as a source of distraction, as sign boards on the side of the road, alerting the driver of accident hot-spots ahead, speed-limits, directions etc. 

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