Phone + Cloud + Black Box = DriveToImprove from Telefónica

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Having worked previously in telematics as well as being a phone nerd, a new initiative from Telefónica (the group behind O2 in the UK) piqued my interest - 'Drive to Improve', currently in Beta, marries your phone with the cloud and a black box in your vehicle for advanced driving diagnostics.

As a Beta tester it's not only completely free to take part, we also have some guaranteed spots for MoDaCo readers to get on board (i've signed up and i'm having my device installed on Tuesday!).

The process is as follows...

  • Apply for a 'black box' device to be installed in your car to monitor your driving style, data on your journeys is sent over-the-air directly from the box to the cloud.
  • An iPhone/Android app will display your driving scores with helpful tips on how to improve.
  • Save money on your fuel bills and reduce your CO2 emission by learning to avoid the bad habits that drive your costs up. Down the line, your good driving score could even save you money on your car insurance premium.
  • Share your experiences with other members of our Community and get rewarded for your participation. Spread the word and become a valued advocate.

The DriveToImprove website has some great screenshots of the service in action on device and on a full browser and it looks pretty great. DtI are running their own active community around the product, with user feedback being taken on board and new releases including features and changes specifically driven by the Beta testers!

In their words...

We’re sorry if there’s the odd glitch, it’s a Beta. Try out our newest feature, give us early feedback and let us know what you think. Together we can build a better product.

Of course, there are some people who won't want their driving styles / habits sent back to a centralised data store... but i've decided i'm pretty comfortable with that, hence i've signed up.

Interested? Head on over to the signup page to get started!


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How is the data shared and is your name, address etc recorded as part of the beta? Just thinking that it could come back to bite people eg someone in an accident and the courts demand the info which shows you were driving like a twat before the accident.

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Hey Davidoff59, I'm Denise, the community manager for the Drive to Improve community and happy to answer your questions:

How is your data shared:

We’re really keen to understand how the Drive to Improve technology influences and changes people’s driving behaviour. As such we’ll be analysing the data with carefully selected third parties to learn more. Our interest is not in an individual’s performance, but the broader trends of the Beta as a whole. We’ll also be keeping our eyes out for potential faults (i.e. individual devices that are not transmitting data or behaving strangely); in these instances we may contact you directly to understand more about the problem. At all times your data will be securely stored according to our Privacy Policy (

No other Beta user will be able to see your data and it will be anonymised for our own research. If you wish you can be visible on a public leader board using your nickname and you can share your achievements with your friends.

And with regards to your question about the police: We won’t proactively provide data to any organisation not engaged in its analysis for the purpose of the Beta. However, a UK court can request its disclosure if it is relevant to a case, such as evidence in a serious crime.

I hope these answers helped, it would be lovely to welcome you as one of our members soon :)


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Well this appears to have died a death. The beta was great with a very active community then it was shut down and nothing. The site no longer exists and as a former beta tester I know absolutely nothing about what is to happen. We were even promised a copy of our data and I certainly requested that as it would have been interesting but again, nothing!

Seems odd that a huge company like telefonica would act like this, maybe it was a huge failure so they quietly swept it under the carpet and hope no one notices!

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