About three months ago, the company introduced the Discovery Insure app and Discovery Insure Driving Challenge (DIDC), designed to help South Africans become more competent and aware behind the wheel. The Discovery Insure app detects behaviour, such as how sharply the driver breaks, the speeds the driver does, and how often he/she uses their phone while their car is in motion.
Ossip says people often have negative connotations when they think of the relationship between smartphones and driving, and the company wants to change this perception by showing how smartphone telematics can improve driver behaviour and road safety.
Although the DIDC comes to an end on Sunday, Ossip says the company has implemented the use of the Discovery Insure smartphone app on a more permanent basis. "From 1 November, you can opt for the smartphone-enabled DQ-Track to help you become more aware of how you drive and improve your driving behaviour."
The smartphone-enabled DQ-Track gives drivers immediate feedback on their driving.
Peters has indicated Discovery Insure's road safety initiative will be included as part of the broader technology programme the DOT has undertaken through the Road Traffic Management Corporation. She says the Discovery Insure mobile app could also be used by taxi commuters to detect the driving conduct of the taxi drivers while in transit.
Meanwhile, Discovery this week announced it has partnered with US-based telematics technology provider Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) in a move it says will help it harnesses telematics and behavioural economics to promote safer driving.
CMT has developed patented technology embedded in popular mobile apps that allows users to interact with large amounts of sensor data processed from smartphones, other mobile devices, and cars.
A number of insurance companies these days use telematics technology to monitor and track driving behaviour, with discounts on premiums to policyholders.
ABI Research estimates the number of monitored drivers worldwide will rise from 1.85 million in 2010 to 89 million by 2017.