Russian tech giant Yandex plans to reward responsible drivers on its car-sharing platform with cheaper insurance this year, it told Reuters, using machine learning in a pilot program similar to one already adopted by Tesla.
Newly-listed Renaissance Insurance has verified Yandex’s algorithms and the two companies will team up to offer car insurance discounts of up to 35% to the safest drivers using the Yandex.Drive app.
Yandex did not disclose the terms of the deal, and Renaissance Insurance declined comments on the terms.
Russia has for years been trying to improve road safety. An average of 45 Russians died in road accidents every day in 2019 and 2020, data from the traffic police showed, much higher than in many other countries.
Videos of erratic driving in the country have garnered millions of views on YouTube.
The ‘Driving Profile’ on Yandex’s car-sharing service is designed to encourage safer driving. It tracks how users drive, logging sudden accelerations, hard stamps on the brake pedal and speeding, noting a reduction in all three metrics since its introduction in June.
Yandex said its product was the first joint offering between a car-sharing business and an insurance company based on using Big Data.
Tesla has already started offering insurance using real-time driving behavior, lowering people’s insurance premiums the higher their safety score goes.