Home State Farm wants you to wake up, smell the safety

State Farm wants you to wake up, smell the safety

Feeling tired at the wheel? State Farm might have the solution. The insurance firm has received a new patent designed to keep sleepy, distracted, or drunk drivers awake through a series of vibrations and pokes from wearable devices.

The system would be able to run diagnostics on the driver before stepping into the car, and alert them if they’re showing signs of tiredness or intoxication. It will give advice to these motorists, telling them to drink a cup of coffee or order a cab.

See Also: Google and Uber Chiefs Discuss The Future of Transportation

State Farm gives a range of devices as examples of how these nudges and alerts could be delivered. Smartwatches, headphones and headsets, augmented or virtual reality glasses, and smart clothing are potential product for the application.

This is a serious issue and one that needs addressing, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a quarter of a million people fall asleep at the wheel everyday.

“As our industry and the needs of our customers continue to change, State Farm strives to be a leading innovator within the insurance marketplace,” spokeswoman Missy Dundov said to the Chicago Tribune. “As part of this process, it’s important that State Farm protects its ideas through patent filings, and the patent process allows us to further research ideas to determine how we can better serve our customers, as well as improve vehicle safety.”

State Farm is there…but is it a good neighbor?

State Farm is not the only insurance firm that wants more data on drivers, but this patent shows it’s serious about driver safety. However, it might be difficult for the app to find market traction, especially if customers are worried that being tired or distracted behind the wheel might lead to higher insurance costs.

We suspect for the app to receive any attention, State Farm would have to sell the patent license to a third-party, which is independent and will keep user data anonymous.

It is not the first patent to look at making drivers more safe on the road through alerts either, so it might be hard for State Farm to argue its value when selling the license.

Whatever the case, it is clear that insurance companies have a vested interest in driver’s safety, and we expect to see more of these patents and applications crop up as we move to into a more augmented and autonomous world.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.