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Keep Calm and Don’t Fear the Connected Car (PART 2)

So you have a connected car now. Maybe it’s equipped with an onboard telematics system, Wi-Fi and a fancy infotainment console to stream your digital music collection, or you have some connected phone apps, or you’ve just installed a device to share your driving data over the air. Forbes recently hyped that a connected car lifestyle is now a given, that customers expect continuous connectivity, and the government will continue to require more and better infrastructure connections for improved safety. Should you be afraid?

In my last blog post I’d highlighted several recent articles circulating in the media about the threat of car hacking. Congress is working on new legislation and regulations aimed directly at preventing car hacking, (6) but this costs money and there is significant controversy. Is a hacker going to single me out because I stream online music into my car or have a Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) device installed? Might my new connected car and everyone else’s be at risk to unexpectedly accelerate, brake, or shut off while I’m driving home today?

While no technology can be truly 100% risk free, it’s about balance and calculated risk. This is what insurance is all about. Are you still worried about data security when you make an online purchase transaction with your credit card or use an ATM to withdrawal cash while visiting a foreign city? Banks have made significant advances in recent years with protecting electronic transactions against hacking and fraud. Banks commonly use many of the same data security protocols used by the government and US military, which are certified through ISO, SSAE, and other international standards organizations. It’s the same for reputable UBI programs and Telematics Service Providers (TSPs).

Since its founding Octo Telematics has made compliance with international security standards and certifications a fundamental principle of everything we do. We are ISO 9001:2000/2008 and Standard UNI CEI certified and comply or exceed all requirements. Octo’s IT data security management is based on the ISO 27001 standard.

What does this mean for you when you’re participating in an insurance telematics program that’s “Powered by Octo?” It means peace of mind and lower risk to data security and privacy concerns.

When properly implemented, insurance telematics programs should not create any additional exposure to consumers’ privacy or data risk beyond the exposure we receive when we send emails or use cell phones to transmit personal conversations over wireless technology where location can be traced at any moment. Almost all cell phones today have built-in GPS, plus can be traced using tower triangulation. Are you worried about data security? You shouldn’t be with Octo, just make sure you’re using up-to-date technology with secure internet connections, the same as when using credit cards online.

Insurance companies are very good (and getting even better) with risk management and applying technology that is directly aimed at limiting risk. UBI programs powered by Octo enable insurers to differentiate between different types of driving behavior and reward those with lower potential liability and risk with lower relative insurance rates. The technology helps drivers be safer and insurers be more efficient in claims processing too, benefiting everyone involved.

One thing that can be certain is that UBI and connected car technology is expanding rapidly and will continue to proliferate. In North America the number of Insurance Telematics policies is expected to grow from 4.2 million in the last quarter of 2014 to reach 32.5 million in 2019.

The total connected car market is expected to generate revenue of $141 Billion by 2020.

Looking historically at how technology has exploded from the first personal computers in the late 70’s into today, going forward we’re certain to see even more of our life in the fast lane – with everything, all the time! The times they are still a changing, and the next few years are going to be quite a ride.

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