Save me, dear Algorithm!

Overtaking maneuvers, excessive braking or fatigue: more than 90 percent of all road traffic accidents are caused by human error. The digital subsidiary of DEKRA aims to achieve transparency about how people drive.

With the DEKRA SafetyIndex the driving behavior can be assessed. Photo: Fotolia - haris, Fotolia - hbrh

With the DEKRA SafetyIndex the driving behavior can be assessed. Photo: Fotolia – haris, Fotolia – hbrh

The DEKRA SafetyIndex is designed to help reduce the number of accidents caused by driver error. Using data collected in the vehicle itself or via a proprietary smartphone app, the necessary information is provided to enable an objective assessment of driver behavior. The result — the DEKRA SafetyIndex — indicates how safely the vehicle has been driven. It is based on an analysis of speed, acceleration/braking behavior, and other environmental/driver influences, with algorithms measuring how safely the driver operates the vehicle. In areas such as passenger transportation, vehicle fleet management, freight forwarding, and insurance, the SafetyIndex aims to facilitate the modification of processes and services to reflect current safety requirements. Fleet operators will therefore benefit from a reduced accident rate, lower costs, improved efficiency, and longer vehicle service lives.

The DEKRA Safety Index uses built-in sensors in the smartphone to carry out a driving analysis. Photo: Fotolia – haris

The DEKRA SafetyIndex uses built-in sensors in the smartphone to carry out a driving analysis. Photo: Fotolia – haris

What makes the DEKRA solution so unique is that the app does not require a connection with the vehicle’s onboard electronics. Instead, it uses a variety of sensors that are built into smartphones. The aim of the DEKRA SafetyIndex is to enable and promote the objective measurement of safe driving, while also reducing human-related accident risks with a digital tool. As Dr. Kerim Galal, CEO of DEKRA Digital GmbH, emphasizes: “We want to set a global standard for rating safe driving.”

Development work on the system began in mid 2018. Specific projects with the first customers are currently being planned, and testing has been underway on the first prototypes in regular operations since the start of the year. “We are gradually building on our prototype, adding new functions on a step-by-step basis,” explains Head of Technology Dr. Christoph Maier. He anticipates that the system will be ready for market in spring 2019. Maier believes that the reputation of our company gives this start-up an edge over similar businesses: “when it comes to road safety, DEKRA is fully trusted by customers and partners alike.”

Smartphone sensors

Modern smartphones are full of digital sensors. The DEKRA app utilizes the data collected by these sensors. Alongside the brightness sensor and compass, there is also the MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system), which detects rotation and acceleration. What’s more, the GPS sensor is used to determine current location.

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