Using Demolition Derby To Refine Braking and Impact Data

Drive Well App

You may not think a county fair would be a place brake research would be performed, but Cambridge Mobile Telematics worked with the Barnstable County Fair’s demolition derby organizers to conduct crash-impact studies. The data from the study will be used to make algorithms for the company’s DriveWell phone app more accurate.

According to the story in the Cape Cod Times, the demolition derby cars were outfitted with sensors to measure impacts as well as sensors to capture if the driver was braking, accelerating or turning. When an impact happened during the event, the company could use the information to determine what types of driver cations resulted in the most damage.

While not the most scientific of ways to do research, it offers multiple collisions in a very short period when compared to traditional crash testing or monitoring drivers in the field.

“We can tell where the vehicle was, how fast it was going, whether it was driving after, how severe it was,” said Ryan McMahon, vice president of insurance for Cambridge Telematics in the Cape Cod Times story. “We’re creating all that information within minutes after the crash to enable a faster claims process and provide emergency services for people who need it.”

Some of these telematics systems can capture information like if the driver applied the brakes before the impact and if the ABS system was operating. These systems can even detect faults that turn the brake light on in the dash that may indicate a hydraulic failure of the brake system.