GoCarma, A Driving App, Raises Privacy Concerns
Insurance company Tower has launched GoCarma which monitors people’s driving, from how they brake to how often they check their phone.
Questions are being raised about a new mobile app which tracks, records and scores how well people drive.
Insurance company Tower has launched GoCarma which monitors people’s driving habits, from how they brake to how often they check their phone.
Tower said the app is a way for people to measure their driving ability and potentially lower their insurance excess.
However, critics warn the app intrudes on people’s privacy and it is unclear who is really getting the benefits.
Once downloaded, the GoCarma app is connected to the car by Bluetooth and uses the driver’s smartphone to track how they accelerate, brake and corner.
Tower head of propositions Sally Gordon said the purpose of the app is to raise driving standards.
“At the moment there is no way for drivers to get feedback on how well they drive.
“We’ve done a little bit of research and found that nine out of 10 New Zealanders think that they are good drivers.
“But actually the reality is most people could improve their driving.”
For every trip completed, the driver is scored out of 100 based on a range of factors, such as how smoothly they accelerated or applied the brakes.
Gordon said the app would not be used to set the premiums of its customers but they might be rewarded for safe driving by reducing the excess on their policies.
She accepted the app has limitations and could not differentiate between defensive and aggressive driving, such as braking hard to avoid a collision.
Gordon said such an event would affect the score of that ride, but scores would be aggregated over 12 weeks, which would give a more accurate representation of someone’s ability.
Originally published at News Hub