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  1. Spotlight
28 December 2022

How connected vehicle data is going to change the world – with Wejo

A special podcast from Spotlight, the New Statesman’s policy supplement.

In the very near future, your car will use data from your mobile device to help you navigate and stay safe. But vehicles already generate useful data. In the first episode of a three-part special partnered series with Wejo, the smart mobility tech company, a panel of expert guests discuss how connected vehicle data is already changing the world.

Real-time data, information generated by vehicles driving around towns and cities as we speak, is already being used to help ease traffic congestion, help prevent accidents, and support the move to a net zero economy.

In the first episode of this special series, the panel traces the origins of connected vehicle data and looks at potential problems around data privacy. The discussion also explores the potential of data for local authority service delivery, and highlights examples of where vehicle data is already being put to use for wider social benefits.

Listen on the New Statesman podcast:

Alona Ferber, editor of the New Statesman’s Spotlight policy channel, is joined by Richard Barlow, founder and chief executive of Wejo, John Stenlake, director of Vehicle Innovation & Mobility at Microsoft, and Peter Van Manen, the former managing director of McLaren Electronic Systems, the company that supplies control and data systems to all competitors in the Formula One, NASCAR and indyCar racing series.

One application of vehicle data has been to reduce insurance premiums, Barlow, who started Wejo ten years ago, explains on the episode: “In the first year I worked with an insurance provider, and my thought process with insurance providers was that if they had access to data, then they would be able to provide better policies, more cost effective policies for all drivers.”

It became very apparent that the insurers were very much ingrained with the idea that they could produce their premium costs for high risk drivers, but not for all drivers, just a very small percentage,” he says. “And then at the same point, it became clear that motor manufacturers were also making more of their vehicles be available in terms of the data they make available.

“And it was a massive disconnect. I realised there was an opportunity there to work with the motor manufacturers and to actually go beyond insurance, but actually use data to provide better mobility services. And now today we see data from 90 million journeys every day. We have over 20 million vehicles on [Wejo’s] platform.”

The next episodes of this special series will look at obstacles to mass electric vehicle adoption and the autonomous vehicles future that is nearly here.