MTN Business has launched a connected driver, usage based insurance (UBI) solution in partnership with Huawei.
MTN said it will be the first mobile operator in South Africa to commercially deploy a connected driver solution, which uses the Internet of things (IOT) to monitor and assess driver behaviour and motivate better driving.
“This solution is a great tool for driver safety, car maintenance and road safety in general. It is also a great usage based insurance product,” said Melao Mashale, MTN Business senior manager of enterprise IOT solutions.
The solution uses an on-board diagnostic (OBD) device that connects the car to a mobile app for private use or to a data-centre for commercial users like insurance or fleet management firms. Driver behaviour like speed and braking can be monitored and assessed, the solution can even sense driver fatigue and send out a warning to the driver to rest.
“The benefit for insurers is that through data analytics the system can give drivers a rating, a high score shows a low accident risk; vehicle insurers can utilise this to offer incentives for better driving which will in-turn reduce accidents and the associated claims,” said Mashale.
MTN is offering 1 000 OBD devices to its first car insurer customer to promote usage based insurance in the South African market.
“There are over 11 million cars on South Africa’s roads, of which about 35% are covered by insurance, so this is a huge market for MTN to make a difference. UBI is a great opportunity for alternative revenue growth for telecom operators. This connected car partnership adds to our collaboration with MTN in our IOT offerings,'” said Zhu Ming, Huawei’s regional IOT director.
The MTN and Huawei UBI partnership is based on a revenue share model and is the foundation for a broader connected car solution.
“The connected driver offering is already commercially deployed and we are ready for a large-scale launch. We have trialled the solution with several car insurers who are happy with the performance and stability of the platform,” added Mashale.
MTN and Huawei hope that through UBI and connected drivers, South Africa’s high road accident rate will gradually decrease through improved driver behaviour.