VDS and ATG win DoT SBIR

posted Mar 30, 2015, 6:56 PM by Christopher Wilson
We actually won this SBIR award back in October, but we have a lot more to talk about now so we thought it was time to get this out.  Basically the DOT is interested in drivers paying for insurance as they use it, that is on a per mile or per unit of risk basis.  The evidence shows that an individual's driving drops (on average) by about 8% if all of the costs of driving are actually reflected in each mile.  This drop in (low value) road use will reduce Transportation Department costs in deploying new technologies and building new roads, while reducing traffic, congestion and omissions for all of us.  

What we have set out to do in this SBIR is to develop a method so individuals can provide data on their driving to multiple insurance companies and can get the best rates appropriate for their driving.  There are currently a lot of systems that can sort of do this, the catch being they all do it differently and there is no agreement on what to measure and what those measurements mean.  One of the big problems for insurance providers is being able to normalize the data across the multiple collection devices and vehicle types.  We believe that the kinematic map can help with this normalization by providing reference data against which to compare individuals, possibly based on collection device and various vehicle types.

So far, this project is in its infancy, but some really exciting results, and it really does look like this peer-based risk assessment can do a much better job than traditional threshold-based approaches.

I always have to laugh at this work a little bit.  If anyone had asked me when I left grad school what I thought I would be doing in 30 years, working in transportation and insurance would have been pretty low on the list.  Funny thing is, it's very satisfying to be able to make so much a difference in so many people's lives.