13 Oct 2015   |   Network Updates   |   Update from University of Luxembourg
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

This app could lead to cheaper car insurance

Motion-S, University of Luxembourg


The Problem: It hardly seems fair any more that drivers pay a higher price for their youth. Considered risky, those insurers that will quote for 17-25 year-olds whack on an extra ‘tax’ on inexperience. It is not just young people who can feel hard done by: with insurers reliant on crude factors to measure risk, safer drivers of all ages end up paying the same premium as unsafe ones.

The Answer: The Motion-S app digitises driver behaviour. The company’s smartphone-based in-car data tracker creates a statistical model of the driving characteristics of users, which can be shared with insurers, who get to keep tabs on braking and acceleration, cornering, speed and what time of day the car is driven.

Using telematics as a way of monitoring driving and assessing risk, offering better drivers lower premiums, has been around for a decade or more. However, before the smartphone, it required special hardware to be fitted into a car. 

Despite this, telematics-related policies are growing in popularity across Europe, with insurers now selling 4.56 million such policies per year, up from 1.9 million two years previously, according to data from the consultancy Ptolemus. Motion-S expects further annual growth of more than 22 per cent next year.

Earlier this year Motion-S teamed up with insurer Bâloise Luxembourg to launch Game of Roads, a safe-driving contest, using the Motion-S technology. The campaign has attracted more than 5,000 users, who have driven more than 3.5 million kilometres.

The Company: Three friends, Raphaël Frank, Thierry Derrmann and German Castignani, started the company last year. It was originally funded with a €400,000 proof-of-concept research grant from Luxembourg’s National Research Fund. A patent application has been submitted for the core technology, the statistical model or ‘Adaptive Profiler’, which the company says can build an accurate profile for any driver. Motion-S is now finalising an investment round of €500,000. In June 2015, the company won first prize at the ‘Mind & Market Pitch’ in Luxembourg.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up