ICBC is taking the next step forward into telematics research with a new pilot, and is inviting as many as 7,000 drivers with less than five years of experience to see how telematics technology can improve their driving and make B.C. roads safer.
In B.C., new drivers are 5.6 times more at risk of getting into a crash and for that crash to be severe, than those with 20 years of driving experience. “New driver” refers to someone with less than one year of experience as a fully licensed driver.
Starting in September 2019, inexperienced drivers will be paying more to better reflect this risk as part of the recent changes to rate fairness. This pilot is an opportunity to assess if telematics can measurably improve driver behaviour and help offset that impact in the future by decreasing this demographic’s risk of being in a crash.
Results from the first telematics pilot earlier this year that focused on the technology’s usability found that over 40 per cent of participants saw improvements in their driving by using the technology, and nearly three-quarters recommended that ICBC explore its use further, particularly for inexperienced drivers.
Now ICBC will look at telematics solutions that involve a small in-vehicle device that communicates with an app installed on the driver’s cellphone. For each trip, driving behaviours like speeding, braking patterns, and level of distracted driving are recorded and an overall score is produced. The results from the pilot will help inform whether a longer-term telematics program should be implemented for more ICBC customers.
In early 2019, ICBC will confirm a vendor that will provide the technology for the pilot, and participant sign-up will begin in the spring. The pilot will launch in the summer with incentives for drivers, while collecting driver feedback and driving behaviour data for one year.
Anyone interested in participating in the pilot can sign up for updates at www.icbc.com/driverpilot. ICBC is looking for participants in the Novice stage of the graduated licensing program or those with less than five years of experience as a fully licensed driver from all across B.C.