Data Driven Insurance … by Ford

Ford will collect driver data from a large fleet and assess how they “could use driver profiles to personalize insurance rates”.

The newsletter’s editorial focused on Ford’s 25 mobility projects, announced by CEO Mark Fields.  One of these projects relates to insurance. Fields asked the CES audience to consider what it would be like to own “a database of [their] driving behaviour for all of the years since [they] got their driver’s license”. He continued: “what if this driver score passport could go with you from car to car, no matter the brand? Imagine that you could share that data with insurance companies to get better rates”.

For this particular project, that will take place in London, Ford will collect driver data from a large fleet and assess how they “could use driver profiles to personalize insurance rates”.

It looks like insurance is also part of the “mobility services” that Ford is considering as it repositions itself from an auto manufacturer to something more as it branches into related areas.

We know that in the US, Ford is working with State Farm in a number of areas. In May 2012, we learned that the two companies “teamed up to track drivers for cheaper insurance rates”. At the end of 2013, Ford announced that it was working with State Farm and the University of Michigan on autonomous vehicle research.

If the experimental project in London meets the company’s expectations, how long before it is introduced into the US? Will State Farm be involved in such work in the US or will Ford, in an attempt to expand its mobility services forward integrate into the insurance space? In a world of shared driverless vehicles, could Ford be considering self-insuring or providing mobility insurance to the customers it will have a relationship with?


Photo credit : Dmitry Kalinovsky – Shutterstock

Amazon is serious about transitioning the idea of thirty minute Prime Air deliveries from concept to reality

Six Things You Should Know About Amazon’s Drones

Amazon has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an exemption from rules prohibiting the use of drones for commercial purposes.  With this request, the company has signaled that they are serious about transitioning the idea of thirty minute Prime Air deliveries from concept to reality.

Current FAA rules restrict commercial use of drones, and Amazon is seeking an exemption from those rules so the company can conduct additional research and development of their Prime Air concept.  The company claims to have made rapid developments in its Prime Air program by testing their drones inside their research and development lab in Seattle. Now, the shopping giant wants the ability to safely innovate and to do, in their words “what thousands of hobbyists and manufacturers of model aircraft do every day.”


Here are six things you need to know about Amazon’s request to fly drones:

  1. If the FAA grants Amazon an exemption, it does not mean Amazon drones will be flying down your street.
  2. Amazon claims their drone technology has advanced significantly in just five months
  3. Amazon wants to innovate and knows that it can’t under the FAA’s burdensome regulatory regime.
  4. Amazon plans to self-regulate, with procedures that exceed current FAA rules for model aircraft.
  5. Amazon plans to use technology to keep their operations safe.
  6. If the FAA doesn’t grant Amazon’s request, the company will move their drone research operations outside of the U.S.

Source : Greg S. Mc Neal, Forbes


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Elon Musk Wants to Build an Electric Pickup Truck and Supersonic Jet

Elon Musk, ever eager to convince everyone, everywhere, that EVs are The Future, sees a day when Tesla Motors offers a pickup truck, allowing ranchers and construction workers to know the joy of electric propulsion. Oh, and he also wants to build an electric airplane capable of supersonic flight.

Musk took the stage for two interviews in New York last decembre and in typical off-the-cuff fashion, the Tesla CEO and co-founder gave his PR team heart palpitations when he confirmed that the automaker wants to make an electric pickup. It’s not an unreasonable idea, considering the Model S will underpin the Model X SUV, and that could be transformed into a truck by nixing the doors and replacing them with a bed. What’s less realistic is the airplane.

Source: DAMON LAVRINC, Wired

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Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk plans to build cars that fly and swim

Photo: GAS2

Elon Musk, the California entrepreneur who heads electric car company Tesla Motors and rocket builder SpaceX, wants to combine aspects of each by developing a car that can fly.

“We could definitely make a flying car — but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy,” Musk told the Independent, a British newspaper in an interview pitching the rollout of a right-hand drive Tesla Model S electric sports sedan in Britain on Monday.

Terrafugia Inc. of Woburn, Mass., is developing the Transition, a two-seat aircraft with foldable wings that can drive on roads.


Source: JERRY HIRSCH, LA Times

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Elon Musk May Give Away Its Tesla Supercharger Patents To Spur Electric Car Development

Elon Musk has said repeatedly he wants to “do something controversial” with Tesla’s collection of electric car patents, but he finally offered specifics at the UK launch of his Tesla Model S on Sunday.

The Tesla Motors CEO said he would like to open up the designs for his Supercharger systems — the free fast-charging stations designed to quickly refuel Tesla’s electric cars — to create a standard for other car makers to use.

Source : Dave Smith, Business Insider

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SuperHub: Connecting mobility

We took advantage of the fact that we were in Barcelona for EVS27 to meet with several members of the SuperHub team. The SuperHub project ( was introduced in a previous newsletter but for the benefit of those who missed that issue,we will provide a summary description.

SUPERHUB (SU stainable and Persuasive Human Users moBility in future cities) is a multi-year project co-financed by the European Commission that involves 20 partners from a variety of fields, including transit and other transport agencies, telecommunications, academia and local government. Simply put, SuperHub is an open source platform and mobile app able to help a user plan customized urban routes by combining all mobility offers in real time.
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