Zendrive Uses Mobile Phones as Sensors To Reinvent The Accuracy of Auto Insurance In Partnership With Guild

If you look across the space of consumer Internet services and physical sensors, people are producing more data than ever before, which is being used to make all kinds of insurance more granular and accurate according to individual risk.

Zendrive, a company backed by First Round Capital, BMW i Ventures and Bill Ford’s Fontinalis Partners is partnering with Guild to create a new kind of auto-insurance targeted at drivers using on-demand platforms like Uber and Lyft. They’re using live data produced by smartphones to tell whether drivers are consistent at following speeding laws and are paying attention to the road.

“We use sensor data from the phone so that we know when someone is regularly speeding above posted limit, whether they are keeping enough distance or tailgating or whether they’re accelerating and braking very often,” said Jonathan Matus, the company’s CEO, who previously worked at Facebook.

Zendrive’s product gives a handful of scores on focus and caution, and can even send alerts or notifications if a driver appears to be reckless. (It only sends those notifications once the car is paused, of course.)

Now the company has partnered with Guild to create a new kind of commercial auto insurance that it says can offer much better pricing than existing types of traditional policies that have grown out of competition with the taxi model. Zendrive says that they could save on-demand fleets as much as 20 percent over existing policies.

The new insurance is available to on-demand fleets who are with Zendrive’s ZenFleets product, which is a service for companies that with large numbers of cars on the road at any time. Matus declined to say who those companies are, but there are obviously not that many of them!

Interestingly enough, one of the company’s investors is Max Levchin, who is also using large sets of data to optimize personal credit with a new company called Affirm.