Sprint’s (News - Alert) new text disablement technology is pretty cool. When a driver starts a car moving, the Sprint disablement product blocks the driver’s mobile phone from sending and receiving text messages or surfing the Web.
The company has said that blocking engages almost instantly when the vehicle begins to move and does not affect passengers or nearby vehicles, but let’s hope that’s true since it would be both funny and annoying if passing cars began disabling our cell phones.
The text disablement feature is part of Sprint’s Integrated Insurance Solutions portfolio, a usage-based insurance platform that enables carriers with the tools to help manage risk, reduce costs and improve profitability.
In partnership with Modus, the Sprint text disablement product works by being hardwired into a device that plugs into the vehicle's on-board diagnostic port (OBDII).
The text disablement system also comes with geofencing, a feature that notifies parents when their teen driver strays too far.
More text disablement options will be unveiled for insurance carriers in 2014, according to the company.
IMS is being added to Sprint’s integrated Insurance Solutions ecosystem, too. Later this year, carriers will have access to IMS' scalable usage-based insurance program. This gives more ways to connect with policyholders by offering premium connected services
This solution turns any car with an on-board diagnostic port into a connected vehicle with in-dash information and entertainment (all safe for drivers, of course). There’s no need for GPS functions for the system to work.
Some of the premium connected services include vehicle health, trip reports, green report, driver behavior, geofencing, accident detection, roadside assistance and voice-powered infotainment, among others. Also available will be text messaging, email, phone calls, local music, Internet radio, Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert) updates, as well as traffic routing.
Data from the system will be transmitted over the Sprint network to the cloud. The data then can be aggregated and scored by IMS Towers Watson, Agnik or the insurance carrier's current scoring partner. These services start to deliver on some of the promises of M2M.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey