Q&A: CSIO on efforts to standardize UBI telematics data in North America

Q&A: CSIO on efforts to standardize UBI telematics data in North America

With more than 18 years of IT experience, Gantzkow is responsible for assisting in the development and delivery of technology standards and solutions for the Canadian P&C insurance industry.  Prior to joining CSIO, he held various roles at Accenture and Canada Health Infoway, where he was responsible for leading the deployment of large-scale, enterprise-wide solutions.

The work on the telematics data standard was initiated by the United States’ Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development(ACORD) in 2011. CSIO joined the effort in early 2013. Both organizations are currently working in tandem.

CSIO is Canada’s industry association of property and casualty insurers, brokers and software providers. Gantzkow spoke to TU’s Brendan McNally.

Please explain the idea behind establishing a telematics data standard.

Let’s say you’re a telematics service provider, you have a device, and you manage to sell it to several insurance companies. It makes sense for you to optimize and lower your maintenance cost and minimize the effort in managing interfaces. It’s a lot more efficient to have one common interface to all your trading partners than different proprietary interfaces to all of them.

And if you’re an insurance company, you will likely not want to put all your eggs in one basket and do business with just one TSP. We anticipate that, over time, it’s likely you’ll do business with a few. And again, if you have one common standard with all your TSPs, it makes maintainability and management of all your interfaces that much more easy and cost-effective.

By leveraging the telematics standard early in your implementation, you avoid going back and retrofitting the standard when you’re at a point where you already have activity. It’s just that much cleaner.

Where does the effort stand at the present?

Our first standard was released in January, and that provides the capabilities to send the data to a TSP or to a carrier and obtain a message back that acknowledges you received it. As for the type of information you can send, you can either send all the raw data every second the device is reporting, or there’s a more summary review, where you’re just sending when something is outside normal parameters because a lot of the time the car is acting normally and you don’t want to be flooded with data.

We call this an ‘event view,’ when something of note happens. Sudden acceleration, severe cornering, that type of thing. You have the option of tailoring [the standard] to your needs, so that it can support both models. That’s the first, introductory version; the basic capability of sending the data to your trading partner.

What’s after that?

Our summer release. We’re going to add the ability to send score cards. TSPs will be offered a capability to generate a scorecard on your behalf, which, based on algorithms can give a score, say 80, for a driver. So you’ll be able to transmit that type of data to your insurance carrier.

Also in the summer release, you’ll be able to send the raw information in a histogram – show your customer how many hours they’ve been driving in a certain period of time, displayed through a nice graph.

What are the biggest challenges in developing a telematics data standard?

There’s a lot of actors involved and a lot of different requirements coming in. It’s trying to know where we should put our efforts in the initial release. We’ve got a lot of actors around the table. The insurance carriers and telematics service providers and, ultimately, brokers want to get in there too and bring in the clients’ perspective.

I think the biggest challenge is capturing all the requirements and then developing a systematic approach to drafting them [into a standard].

This is actually a joint effort by CSIO and ACORD to develop a common U.S.-Canadian telematics data standard. Could you describe it?

Through our partnership with ACORD, we were able to bring in the Canadian voice to the ACORD table. We’re building a North American standard. If you’re a TSP currently working in the U.S. and you’re thinking of venturing into the Canadian market, you can rest assured that the standards will be the same. Similarly, if you’re a Canadian vendor trying to go into the U.S. market.

What advice would you give your foreign counterparts who are considering the same thing?

I’d say to get the standard out before the trains have left the station. If you want people to adopt your standard, you’ve got to anticipate where the market is going to go. It’s clear that telematics is reaching a tipping point. So if you’re thinking about it, then you should get together with your members and publish a standard, version one.

Brendan McNally is a regular contributor to TU.

For all the latest telematics trends, check out Content and Apps for Automotive Europe 2014 on April 8-9 in Munich, Germany, Insurance Telematics Europe 2014 on May 6-7 in London, Telematics India and South Asia 2014 on May 28-29 in Bangalore, India, Insurance Telematics Canada 2014 on May 28-29 in Toronto, Telematics Detroit 2014 on June 4-5 in Novi, Michigan, Advanced Automotive Safety USA 2014 on July 8-9 in Novi, Michigan, Insurance Telematics USA 2014 on Sept. 3-4 in Chicago, and Telematics Munich 2014 on Nov. 10-11 in Munich, Germany.

For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports: Insurance Telematics Report 2014Connected Fleet Report 2014The Automotive HMI Report 2013 and Telematics Connectivity Strategies Report 2013.

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