If you’ve ever seen Formula One drivers poring over sheets of paper or computer screens, they’re not, as you might imagine, checking the resale value of their private jet, but instead assessing their driving. Everything they do in the car, from steering inputs to use of the throttle and brake, is minutely measured and logged and they can check it afterwards to see where and when they can improve.
No Nonsense insurance is bringing a similar system to your smartphone, with the launch of the No Nonsense Top Driver app. The first app of its type on the Irish market, Top Driver lets you see how good a driver you really are. It analyses how you perform various manoeuvres on different road types. For example how you brake when cornering on a country road or how you accelerate from an urban cross-roads. The Top Driver app then compares your driving to that of a panel of advanced drivers. On a scale of 0-100, a score of 0 means that none of your driving behaviours are similar to that of an advanced driver, while a score of 100 means all of your driving behaviours are similar to that of an advanced driver.
The Top Driver App rates you across four dimensions: Pace; Calmness; Smoothness and Anticipation. Pace refers to how appropriate the driver’s speed choices are in relation to different road types and conditions, either too fast or too slow. Calmness (or anti-aggression) relates to the choices the driver makes concerning speed and acceleration. The better drivers do not accelerate aggressively. Smoothness relates to passenger comfort and considers breaking and acceleration in equal weighting. Advanced drivers tend to be smoother drivers, as do female drivers. Anticipation relates to how the driver plans their speed and regulates their braking when approaching road hazards such as junctions, corners and other vehicles in traffic. Advanced drivers look far ahead and start to plan their approach earlier and achieve more moderate braking during these manoeuvres. Your overall TopDriver score is a composite score based on these four dimensions.
If they so choose, drivers can go on to save up to 15 per cent off the cost of No Nonsense Smart Driver insurance at the point of purchase. Drivers then temporarily self-install a small plug-in telematics device in the car which confirms their driving behaviour. Safe drivers will receive up to a further 15 per cent cash back. It is expected that one in three drivers will get the full saving of 30 per cent and as many as one in two drivers will benefit from some saving on their current insurance cost.
The Top Driver app is incredibly simple to use – once the app has been downloaded, and initial registration has taken place, drivers simply press the start button as they set out on each car journey and the stop button when they’ve arrived at their destination. Interestingly, each driver gets to see where exactly on their journey they drove well, and where improvements could be made.
After just 80km of recorded driving, app users can view their personal Top Driver score, which will indicate how closely they match the characteristics of an advanced driver on a scale of 0-100. The overall score gradually becomes consistent after 400km of driving, proving that the technology works by measuring the users underlying driving skill as opposed to a small number of isolated incidents.
Commenting at the launch Mr Jackie McMahon, Director of No Nonsense said: “We see the introduction of the Top Driver app as another exciting step towards cutting out the nonsense in the Irish car insurance market. For the first time ever, Irish drivers will be able to monitor their own driving behaviour and make savings on their insurance at the touch of a button! If you’re under 30 and tired of paying too much on insurance, download the app and prove your safe driving once and for all! This new and innovative technology is set to transform the way in which car insurance premiums are determined and works on the basis of rewarding good drivers for their behaviour on the roads.”