Insurance firm pushes out iPhone app that rates driving ability
No impact on premiums… yet
State Farm insurance has released an iPhone application to rate driving ability, using data from the phone's accelerometer and GPS, then spouting advice on how to be a better driver.
Driver Feedback monitors motion and location using the iPhone's sensors, then rates the driver's acceleration, braking, and cornering ability based on that data. At the end of the journey the driver is provided with an overall score, with the best driver getting 100, or zero depending on what he's trying to achieve.
State Farm will be hoping that drivers will aim for a high score and the app offers advice to help them achieve this – including the placement of flags onto a map of the route taken to help identify the places where the driver got it wrong. The app can also be configured to automatically send the results by email or SMS (perhaps to a concerned, car-owning, parent), but State Farm is clear that it makes no attempt to archive any of the data.
There are already numerous reviews of Driver Feedback on iTunes, though one can't help wondering if they're entirely impartial:
"Wow ... State Farm should give all the guys who worked on this a big raise," says one. "Awesome," exclaims another, "now I will have definitive proof that my wife is a terrible driver. I can't wait to wait to have an argument over this".
The numbers are just for fun – as the notes explain: "The data recorded by this app will not impact your insurance rates" – but it won't be long before our insurance companies start using similar technology to decide what kind of a risk we present, now that they can't just charge us more for having balls. ®
next theing there will be an app where you strap your iphone/pod to your arse to measure your performance with the missus..
Holier than thou attitude
"Cornering at speed" does not necessarily mean breaking the law or speeding or any of the terms you're using above.
There's plenty of of corners that can be taken with reasonable speed legally and safely that with bald (or old) tires that can be dangerous.
It always amazes me whenever articles like this crop up - how many people find 1 million different ways to say "Yeah but I'm holier than thou, and you're obviously driving very unsafely" and whom probably don't spend all that many hours on the road or lie through their noses about how perfect their own driving is.
Anyhow I'm going to have to stop typing now as there's a police car catching me up.
I blame poor driving instructors for this kind of miss information
Reaction times do not make a safer driver, the emergency stop is not intended as a test of reaction times rather the ability to stop a vehicle quickly and under control with an awareness of the immediate danger having done so. Planning ahead so that you do not need to react to things you are unaware of until the last second is what is needed to be a safer driver, reacting without planning tends to contribute to VERY serious accidents.
If your reaction times have deteriorated substantially due to age or illness you are required by law to surrender your driving license, not pay more for insurance to make up for all the extra people you might kill.
Should read "Insurance firm does *not* use iPhones to snoop on driver habits". There is no phone-home. It's worth quoting the full paragraph from which you only quoted the trailing part of the last sentence:
>"The scores are private and only viewable on your mobile device. State Farm does not have access to your scores and using this app will not impact your auto insurance rates." (from http://www.statefarm.com/mobile/driverfeedback/faqs.asp)
It's not just that it won't impact your rates; it's that they aren't actually snooping at all, which is quite the opposite of what your headline claims. Suggesting that they merely make no attempt to "archive" the data omits to mention the very significant fact that they couldn't anyway because they don't *collect* the data in the first place (see note at foot of http://www.statefarm.com/mobile/driverfeedback/driverfeedback.asp).
It's a little obfuscatory of you to be discussing the possibility or otherwise of them archiving something that they don't even have posession of, I think; what were you trying to imply?
What can possibly go wrong
e.g. 3 yr old wildly waving iPhone about - now check your accelerometer stat, cornering etc