3 technologies I want in my daughter’s car

(Flickr)On my daily drive home, my mind is often split between the workday just completed and the excitement of seeing my two-year-old daughter. Recently while stuck in traffic, my eyes spotted a light informing me that the passenger airbag was disabled. This small detail got me thinking about the future of Telematics-and what opportunities exist for consumers and companies alike.

So, with my daughter in mind, here’s my wish list:

-Seat sensors tied to a telematics system in the car. For example, when one day I give the car keys to my daughter, I’ll know if she’s driving alone, or gasp, with teenage boys .

-Tie driving via GPS to what I pay for her insurance. In fact, no need to wait till my daughter is of driving age, insurance companies have been moving towards this for a couple of years already (with some notable advantages and understandable concerns). Short drives will be valued differently than longer ones. Drives into “safe” areas will be valued more favorably than drives into “unsafe” areas. With GPS and a black box, all this will be recorded and transmitted directly to the insurance company. Insurance on a pay-per-use plan, all verifiable.

-Safety-sensor bubbles: If it was late and my daughter was approaching a dimly lit area to park, the sensor could scan around and let her know if anyone else was there. Likewise, if she was getting ready to go back to her car, she could ask her car to scan and let her know if a stranger was present. If not the car, then perhaps the parking structure would feed her car the same information, which could relay it to her cell phone. This alone would help me sleep better at night.

Some companies wait for the future to come to them. Others make the future. Insurance and car companies are not known for being early technology adopters. The reality is, Telematics and the car of tomorrow will become larger and larger information collectors, as well as content platforms.

To the extent that companies (insurance, automotive) can leverage this future to build new product lines, craft targeted policies more inline with consumption, and generally build brand affinity through their collaborative efforts- more people will view them as an “always-on value” instead of a monthly expense. I worry about my daughter’s safety and, as any father, I hope to protect her from the ills of the world. The reality is I cannot be there all the time-maybe Telematics can help.