Russia Tech Giant Yandex Uses AI to Reward Safe Drivers With Insurance Discounts

Russian tech giant Yandex said it plans to reward responsible drivers on its car-sharing platform with cheaper insurance this year, using machine learning in a pilot program similar to one already adopted by Tesla.

The newly listed company Renaissance Insurance has verified Yandex algorithms and the two companies will collaborate to offer auto 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 to comment on the terms.

Russia has been trying for years to improve road safety. Data from the traffic police showed that an average of 45 Russians died in road accidents every day in 2019 and 2020, a figure much higher than in many other countries.

The country’s choppy driving videos have garnered millions of views on YouTube.

The “driving profile” in Yandex’s car-sharing service is designed to encourage safe driving. It tracks how users drive, logging abrupt acceleration, and hard stamps on the brake pedal and speed, indicating declines on all three metrics since its introduction in June.

Yandex said its product was the first joint offering between a car-sharing company and an insurance company based on the use of big data.

Tesla has already started offering insurance using real-time driving behavior, lowering people’s insurance premiums the higher their safety score.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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