Posted on June 16, 2017 by staff

Saving lives on the road through data


You might think you’re a good driver but the data might still peg you as a risk, according to Sam Chapman, chief innovation officer and co-founder and director of The Floow.

Using telematics data – like that typically collected in the ‘black boxes’ of high-end cars or of new drivers – the Sheffield-based firm is having a huge real-world impact with its analytics.

“What we do does make a difference, it does change people’s lives and it does make them safer,” says Chapman.

The Floow, which employs the UK’s leading driving psychologist, sends feedback to users via an app, which gives them pointers to improve their driving.

When behaviour is particularly risky they could even receive a call from the company’s call centre, where a team of psychologists are also based.

This helps drivers both save money on insurance and save lives by encouraging them to become safer on the roads.

“There is a degree of all sorts of risk that everyone undertakes when they’re driving and it’s important for people to get a map of that,” says Chapman.

“It’s feeding back the elements that are the most risky about what they do in their drive in ways humans can understand. It lets them know they’re not perfect and helps them change and adjust their behaviour.

“You don’t want to feed back a very negative message so they turn off – that doesn’t achieve anything. You want to nudge people in the right direction.”

This data can also be used to reduce pollution and plan roads, and will likely play a part in reducing risk in the driverless cars of the future.

“Autonomous vehicles generate risk because they behave differently to humans,” says Chapman.

“To understand that you need to understand the wider aspects of risk, which is what we’re looking at at the moment, to help bring about this new technology. Then everyone can experience driving even if they are disabled or can’t drive for any reason.”

Ultimately it is the opportunity to help that motivates the firm, says Chapman.

“We didn’t want to do just pricing – we wanted to make a difference,” he concludes.