Allstate was recently granted a patent for a driving-behaviour database that would let the insurance company “evaluate drivers’ physiological data, including heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram signals.”
With this technology, Allstate would could calculate how safe a driver is by tapping into sensors in the steering wheel and brakes, or adding cameras inside a car.
This is just a patent. Companies file patents all the time that don’t result in products.
Still, this is an interesting view of how the data revolution could change everybody’s life. As sensors become cheaper and companies figure out more ways to collect data, that data will inevitably show up in all sorts of places — and not always for the individual’s benefit.
Here are some other capabilities of Allstate’s new invention:
- The position and movement of a vehicle could be collected via GPS.
- Cameras could be integrated with sensors to analyse vehicle speed and other factors to monitor the distance between the vehicle and roadway lane divider lines.
- The invention would evaluate “time of day violation” because driving at night isn’t as safe as driving during the day.
According to the patent, the technology would collect data every two seconds. Over time, the invention would allow Allstate to predict “likely future events.”
The technology could be used for more than insuring drivers. As Allstate writes, “A pattern of aggressive driving may be correlated to ‘risk taking’ in other life or employment environments, including but not limited to spending and debt repayment.”