White Paper

Comparing Smartphone, Self-Powered, OBD, Black Box, and OEM Embedded Devices

Learn the pros and cons of telematics data collection technology for insurance telematics/UBI program planning.

Executive Summary

By delivering accurate, timely data about driver behavior and vehicle operation, telematics has thrived and is now an important part of the auto industry and the insurance market. As new data-connectivity solutions emerge—offering innovative ways to collect and use driving data—insurers and consumers have a wider array of selections from which to choose. Selecting the right technology solution depends on a variety of factors—some financial and some related to how well the technology meets real-world challenges and addresses each insurer’s different and unique market/data requirements in daily practice. Solutions that deliver promised capabilities must also be measured in terms of cost effectiveness. Equally important, providing a positive user experience is essential to any successful solution.

Insurance telematics and usage-based insurance (UBI) have grown substantially over the last few years, and the technology choices for implementing insurance telematics programs have become more diverse. Techniques for collecting, consolidating, and analyzing the data to assess driver behavior continue to be refined as the technologies for accomplishing this evolve and improve. With so many available technology choices, one question is frequently asked by insurers: What data collection option best suits the programs we want to offer drivers?

This paper compares the relative strengths and trade-offs of five leading data collection solutions used in telematics programs: smartphone, self-powered, OBD, black box, and OEM-embedded devices. A knowledgeable telematics service provider (TSP) with a platform and strategy that is fully data agnostic can explain the various options and help you select the technology to meet insurance program goals and requirements.

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