Zoomcar will be equipping its cars with new hardware which will help in preventing road accidents because of driver inattention through a partnership with Mobileye NV to install Mobileye ADAS. The device is a  small camera located inside the front windshield and uses image processing to give warnings (for lane departure, headway monitoring, and forward collision) in ‘dangerous situations.’

Zoomcar has installed Mobileye ADAS in the first 40 Mahindra and Ford vehicles on Delhi and plans to install them in other metro city cars as well in 10,000 cars by next year end. Mobileye claims that the system not only prevents accidents, it also helps in affecting driver behaviour to correct driving habits.

Mike Hirsh, Mobileye’s regional manager for India, said, “The Mobileye ADAS systems take information from images at 30 frames per second: where am I in terms of lane markings, in terms of people in front of me. We can read road signs like pedestrian and cyclist collision warnings, leaving your lanes unintentionally. We retrofitted these warning signs into vehicle platforms and we’ve adapted this solution for Indian conditions… the real time warnings provided to the drivers can also be used for driving schools.”

Zoomcar has also installed a ‘speeding alert system’ through an in-car smart device to monitor real time driving speeds and penalising users breaking its speeding limits. It also will assess driver’s braking, steering and fuel efficiency among other things through a Bluetooth onboard diagnostics port. The company says that this information will be sent to the driver in real time to suggest corrective behaviour on their part, and that it can impose penalties for “rash behaviour” like inappropriate clutch riding, harsh acceleration, etc.

Information sharing with insurance companies

What is more interesting is that  Zoomcar will also use this to objectively rate drivers by improving driver and passenger safety and the health of the vehicle and understand the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Zoomcar has also tied up with ICICI Lombard and Ideal Insurance Brokers for insurance and information sharing.

On the insurance, Moran said, “Zoomcar handles the insurance premium on an annual basis. Today any of the behavioural characteristics aren’t captured when underwriting. With Mobileye, we’ll try and start capturing that for underwriting: typically now we look at the asset and the location, the make and model of the vehicle, where it is used, and the claim history of the insurer.”

Zoomcar started its Associate Program (ZAP) to keep up with demand, according to co-founder and CEO Greg Moran. He said, “We launched ZAP in Delhi, and the data that we get helps us improve precision in other markets. We would finance cars through large banking houses, and take them on our own balance sheet and scale that business. We did that for the better part of 3 years. We got such large demand, we needed to keep up supply with demand. That’s where we came with ZAP. In a month, they can earn Rs 10,000-14,000, and pay off their EMIs.”