Cambridge Mobile Telematics Raises $500M from SoftBank Vision Fund

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This week it was announced that Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the mobile-based company that uses apps and hardware to measure driving behaviors, has received a $500 million investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Lead by MIT professors Hari Balakrishnan and Sam Madden, the investment will help speed up the adoption of CMT’s DriveWell app, which analyzes driving data and provides incentives for users to improve overall driver safety.

DriveWell works on smartphones by collecting data to detect road types, driving smoothness, speeding, phone distraction, and other factors, and then offers a driving score from one to 100, as well as route maps and tips for improvement.  Scores can be used for insurance discounts and prizes while offering a little healthy competition among friends and other drivers for competing high marks.

The DriveWell platform has been shown to reduce phone distraction by 35 percent on average within 30 days, and speeding and hard braking by 20 percent.

“Over the past few years, the DriveWell platform has helped make roads safer by making drivers better in a world where crashes are rising due to factors like distracted driving,” said Hari Balakrishnan, CMT’s Chairman and CTO. “This partnership with the Vision Fund is the start of the next stage of our journey to bring safe mobility solutions for people and goods at massive scale.”

CMT, which was founded in 2010 out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, uses a unique combination of artificial intelligence (AI), behavioral science, and mobile sensing to create system that uses “behavior-based insurance.” This type of insurance is based on factors like how, when, and where you drive, to determine your quote based on if the technology deems you a safe driver or not.

“CMT is breaking new ground in the application of telematics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to solve challenging problems in insurance and safety,” said Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said in a related press release. “CMT is uniquely positioned to help insurers develop the insights to better support customers and advance their operations, while promoting long-term improvements in driving standards around the world.”