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T-Systems, Spearhead Partner to Add IoT to Car Insurance

Launched in Europe, the Digital Drive solution helps with claims management and enables insurers to offer new services to vehicle owners.
By Edson Perin

The Digital Drive solution offers features for drivers, such as real-time information regarding vehicle status: fuel level, vehicle position and warnings in case of vibrations or towing. Insurers can use this data as a basis for calculating and rewarding the most careful drivers.

The solution is the result of a recently announced partnership between T-Systems and Spearhead, which entered the car insurance market in 2015. T-Systems provides the OBD2 adapter, while Spearhead supplies claims management software, the portal for insurers and the documentation of damage functionality for vehicle owners.

Ingo Hofacker, the head of Deutsche Telekom's Internet of Things (IoT) business, says the solution makes insurance telematics profitable for the mass market. "The combination of our car solution, coupled with Spearhead technology, makes it possible to deliver insurers a solution with a range of value-added services," Hofacker explains, "while, at the same time, reducing the costs involved in existing processes and repairs after accidents."

To use the connected-car functions, owners must first install an adapter for the OBD system. In the event of an accident, a sensor on the adapter will record all forces that act on the vehicle, then transmit this data immediately to T-Systems' private cloud, where it will be analyzed at the same time that the customer manager is notified.

A Web-based portal indicates which parts of the vehicle have been damaged and what the cost of repair will be. Through an application, the vehicle owner can document the circumstances of the accident, the individuals involved and the damaged parts, as well as upload photos of the crash. All of this information is processed at data centers throughout the European Union, following local laws of conformity.

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