The MIT Research Vault: 7 Wireless Technologies Of The Future

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Smartphone Telematics

The concept of using technology to track how safely we drive isn't exactly new. Several insurance companies offer sensors that users can attach to their cars as part of usage-based insurance model, whereby drivers are rewarded with cash if the insurance company is pleased with their performance.

But why not embed this tracking capability into a device we all know, love and already have -- our smartphones -- to encourage safe driving on an even larger, more widespread scale? That's the idea of MIT Professor Hari Balakrishnan, who is exploring smartphone telematics as a means to incent drivers to play it safe.

Balakrishnan is testing an app that can be downloaded to smartphones to essentially serve the same purpose of those little sensors. Not only has the app shown a 97 percent accuracy rate, but it works so efficiently that it promises not to suck the life out of your phone. If all goes as plan, it could be "the key to getting telematics out at a pretty large scale," he said.

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