What if your driving assistance app could also look out for your safety every time you get behind the wheel? eiver wanted to protect motorists by incorporating innovative safety features.
eiver is a state-of-the-art mobile app which harnesses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing from IBM Watson® to enable better driving for everyone.
Paves the wayto safer, more responsible driving through personalized advice
Helpsautomotive companies of all kinds to upsell and improve brand loyalty
Speeds upemergency assistance with real-time geo-tracking data collection through the eiver app
Business challenge story
Setting out on a journey to safer driving
If you have ever been involved in any sort of accident while driving, you know very well how important it is to take action quickly. In Europe, the law is changing to reflect this: the European Union is launching eCall – a mandatory standard for devices that will be installed in all new cars from 2018, with the aim of bringing rapid assistance to drivers involved in a crash anywhere in EU territory. The devices will automatically call emergency services in the event of an accident.
Deploying even a basic eCall-compliant system will require significant investment in infrastructure for original manufacturers. And, as a mandatory item rather than a premium upgrade, it is unlikely to represent an opportunity to increase profitability. Equally, such a system will only fulfil a single basic function: connecting the driver via a voice call to a human responder in an emergency-services control center.
eiver, a French company offering a motoring assistance app that rewards good driving with points that can be spent on automotive services, knew that it could bring to market a safety solution that would meet eCall requirements and add more value for both drivers and industry players.
Christophe Meunier-Jacob, CEO and Co-Founder at eiver, recalls: “Building on the components already developed for eiver – our car assistance app that rewards responsible driving with great deals and promotions – we knew we had the ideal platform to bring new functionality to life: eiverSAFETY. Our vision was to have a smartphone-based solution that could be used in all cars, new and old, and that would use artificial intelligence to provide much more sophisticated functionality.”
To turn its vision into reality, eiver recognized the need to integrate advanced machine learning and natural language recognition capabilities, and began looking for a technology partner to accompany it on this journey.
Hitting the road with IBM Watson
The start-up reviewed several technologies available on the market, and determined that IBM® Watson™ was the platform that would best meet its requirements. eiver joined forces with a team from IBM to deploy IBM Watson Assistant, IBM Watson Speech to Text, and IBM Watson Text to Speech, running on IBM Cloud™.
Christophe Meunier-Jacob explains: “We chose to work with IBM because it’s great, for a small company like us, to have the support of such a renowned and prestigious global corporation. Specifically, the capabilities offered by the Watson solutions – artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning – were exactly what we needed. We were confident that, by injecting the power of Watson into our eiver platform, we would be able to develop a safety app that would revolutionize the market.
“What’s more, building and running the solution on IBM Cloud gives us the flexibility, scalability, and security that we need to ensure that our app can support rapid and massive growth in user numbers in the future.”
Working with IBM, eiver built eiver, an advanced AI app aimed at motorists, car leasing companies, original manufacturers, and car insurers. Christophe Meunier-Jacob illustrates how the app works: “We want eiver to act like a discreet, comprehensive, and efficient co-pilot, which helps drivers to get the best out of their vehicles and safeguards them behind the wheel.
“Available free for all major smartphones, eiver automatically detects accelerations and decelerations, building up a profile of each driver’s unique style.
“During a journey, the app – harnessing the in-built power of Watson – detects acceleration and deceleration. If it detects a strong deceleration (of 40 km/h or more in a second), the eiverSAFETY functionality comes into play. It immediately begins a dialogue with the driver and interprets the driver’s reactions and responses. The aim is to gather as much information as quickly as possible, so the situation can be assessed and the involvement of the emergency services can be triggered if required. The position of the vehicle is automatically detected by the app via GPS, so if the driver needs help the relevant assistance can be alerted in real time.”
Users can add their own private contacts (for example, employer, family members or friends) to eiver’s database, and can set up rules whereby the app will also notify these people in the event of an accident. As standard, the solution first uses Watson Text to Speech capability to ask the driver about any damage or injuries sustained, and then uses Watson Speech to Text to parse the response and take the appropriate action. If no spoken response is received after ten seconds, the system tries to reach the driver one more time before automatically triggering an emergency response.
Staying on the right track to success
By teaming up with IBM to develop the innovative eiverSAFETY functionality, eiver is expecting to reap a number of benefits. Christophe Meunier-Jacob confirms: “IBM Watson helped us to fulfil our vision: to create a universal car safety app that can be deployed on any type of vehicle and can be downloaded on any type of smartphone.”
Using eiver, motorists all over Europe can receive faster assistance in the event of a collision – regardless of its severity – and will continue to enjoy rewards, such as deals on car-related products or services, for their safe driving.
The company offers the same technology as a white-label product that can be directly integrated by vehicle manufacturers in new cars, or by third-party garages in older cars. For original manufactures, this represents an opportunity to easily deploy a smart, best-of-breed solution built into the look-and-feel of their existing in-car infotainment systems. This will not only save the significant investment cost of creating their own smart app, but will also allow them to make truly innovative functionality available to their customers, potentially boosting brand loyalty.
Other potential commercial customers for eiver include short- and long-term car rental and leasing companies, corporate fleets, automotive insurers, car dealerships, and independent car servicing companies. In the event of an accident, the app can provide rich information in a timely way, potentially giving insurers a far clearer picture during the claims process. In addition, it will help motorists to keep their vehicles in prime condition – which translates into revenue opportunities for automotive companies. For example, the app can use each driver’s profile to estimate wear and tear on tires, brakes, engine coolants and other consumables, and provide alerts when they need replacing or topping up. These could be linked to special offers from partners, so that a driver could, for example, receive a tailored message telling them that they need to replace their tires and allowing them to click to book an appointment at their local garage at a discounted fee.
The use of machine learning will enable the app to make better and better predictions over time. eiver is building up a large database of the impact of specific driving styles on consumables and other components for specific models of cars, enabling its machine-learning algorithms to make sophisticated predictions of when maintenance will be required. In addition to protecting drivers by helping to keep their vehicles roadworthy at all times, this is will be invaluable for fleet managers, who will be able to plan maintenance cycles more effectively and fix minor issues before they develop into more serious – and costly – problems.
Christophe Meunier-Jacob concludes: “eiver, powered by IBM Cloud and IBM Watson, enables us to shift the focus from a disciplinary attitude towards driving, to a more rewarding and empowering one. We look forward to making the app available to an increasing number of customers, and to making our contribution to European road safety. We also anticipate that our app will generate valuable insight and revenue-generation opportunities for automotive companies of all kinds.”
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Paris, eiver is a software vendor start-up providing mobile and web software solutions that help collect driving data to make driving safer and more efficient. eiver’s lean team has expertise in information technology, telematics, and analysis of automotive data, and prides itself on developing user-friendly, affordable, and sustainable solutions.