Updated: Aug 18, 2018

Motion Intelligence board member Tim Harden has years of experience working in the world of cell phone carriers. He spent about 12 years in various leadership positions at AT&T as a cap to his varied and successful career in telecommunications.

Harden is currently active in organizations that promote economic development, educational and youth activities. He is Chairman Emeritus of the QuEST Forum Executive Board managing the worldwide quality standard TL 9000 and is a member of Supply Chain 50, which represents a group of the top 50 Fortune 500 Supply Chain professionals from around the world.


We asked Harden to share with us his views on what a technology solution could offer to mobile carriers and service providers.

Based on your time with AT&T, what potential does the type of technology Motion Intelligence has built offer to mobile carriers?

First of all, this technology fits exactly with AT&T’s stated goals of getting mobile users to adhere to the “Don’t Text and Drive” mentality. The relationship between that stated objective and turning off the driver’s hands-on use of the data on their phone is what first attracted me to Motion Intelligence.

The MI technology is unique in its approach, and therefore capable of filling a gap in the marketplace. As to the potential of this technology with the carrier community—it’s a home run with their fleets and mobile technician force. Through mobile sales offerings in their stores, this tech has the potential to also be a home run with mobility customers in general.


What unrecognized opportunities should carriers be looking to this technology for?

This technology has unlimited potential to generate new and recurring revenue from the cars it is deployed in, because it has the ability to isolate each seat in the vehicle. Therefore, the program can offer separate service and product offerings to each of those seats.


How can technology be a part of the solution to smartphone addiction and distracted driving, instead of part of the problem?

Through the isolation of each seat, MI software can provide different but consistent offerings, and support a consistent approach to preventing distracted driving.


So, if I’m the owner of a large fleet, I know that by using this technology I have taken control of one big problem and cost driver—distracted driving. My insurance costs go down because my drivers now have fewer accidents. If I’m a parent, I know that my teen is protected from driving distracted.

Mobile technology becomes the enabler of these improvements.


The technology software gives you the ability to create a win-win-win environment. It’s a great technology that I’m proud to be a part of.

Updated: Aug 18, 2018

Distracted driving is a completely preventable peril that’s impacting drivers of all ages and levels of experience. It accounts for approximately 25 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities, with teen drivers being the largest demographic to report being distracted at the time of a fatal collision. For parents, this can be an especially scary statistic as their teenage children get behind the wheel.

It also has real effects on the cost of insurance premiums, which are already highest among teenage drivers.

According to a recent survey of global insurers conducted by insurance telematics company, The Floow, more than one-third of U.S.-based insurers believe that distracted driving will be one of the greatest factors leading to increased insurance premiums over the next two years.


Smartphones aren’t going away—in fact, the “infotainment” options that automakers and smartphone service providers are developing will likely increase the ways our mobile devices relate to our time spent in transit. So how can insurance companies, parents, and drivers stay safe without eliminating the fun, education, and other opportunities for advertisers and users?

We asked our CEO, Susan Spradley, to share how to create what she calls the perfect trifecta between automakers, tech companies and insurance providers that balances opportunity with safety.


How can tech developers, automakers and insurance companies work together for the best outcome for each other, drivers and passengers?


Let’s put it into context: The U.S. is tracking to have a smartphone audience of 236.8 million by next year and there are approximately 222 million licensed drivers in the same space. This degree of overlap requires: 1) automakers who can provide safe “infotainment” interaction by limiting driver interaction with the system; 2) technology companies who can further eliminate “hands-on” use of phones in the driver area; and 3) insurance companies who provide incentives for customers who introduce and use these safety solutions in their daily lives. This is the ultimate trifecta in keeping drivers and passengers safe.


This does not mean that the in-vehicle experience should be boring with zero phone interactions. It means that drivers should be equipped with the necessary tools to focus on the road while passengers are able to enjoy all the infotainment benefits an automaker can provide.


With more teens who own smart mobile devices getting behind the wheel, what reliable safety measures can Motion Intelligence provide?


Motion Intelligence's distracted driving solution is not an “opt-in” or voluntary service that can be turned on and off at will. We don't think it makes sense to choose safety one day and not another. Our product ensures teens are consistently protected every time they climb into the driver seat. Our technology instantly detects all smart devices in the driver-seat area and disables the screen from use (other than voice commands and those apps that a parent or guardian may wish to allow, such as navigation). Many apps on the market provide a way to protect your teen . . . as long as she does not immediately disable the app to text her friends. Our solution provides precise management of a driver's phone screen without the opt-out options that render other measures ineffective.


What has been the current response of insurance providers to distracted driving and what are some ways tech can aid families in keeping premiums as low as possible?


We are pleased to see insurance companies encouraging their customers to take a “no texting” pledge. Some are going further and have provided no texting apps to encourage safe use of smartphones in the car. Unfortunately, the number of distracted driving incidents are continuing to increase, and insurance rates are following suit to cover the costs. Technologies that detect potential distraction and block “hands-on” phone use behind the wheel are, therefore, readily endorsed by most insurance companies.

Updated: Aug 18, 2018

Motion Intelligence was invited to present our technology and value proposition at the 2nd Annual KPMG/Flex Automotive Innovation Summit on Friday, April 20, 2018, at the Flex Innovation Center in San Jose, California.


The morning sessions included presentations by National Automotive Leaders such as Gary Silberg, KPMG LLP; Jim Adler, Managing Director of Toyota AI Ventures; Liz Kerton, Executive Director, Auto Tech Council; Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO, Ontonomo; Dave Barzilai, Co-Founder of Karamba Security; Ravi Puvvala, CEO, Savari; and our very own co-founder CJ Meurell.


After the event, we asked CJ what’s coming down the road for drivers, automakers, and more. Spoiler alert: Companies who innovate on their tech offerings and compatibilities quickly—and with safety in mind—are going to be the leaders. Others will be left behind.



What innovations were presented at the event that left you wowed?

Other than wowing the audience with Motion Intelligence innovations (naturally!) what struck me as compelling were two presentations that discussed the evolving automotive market: “Driving Disruption: Can automotive become high tech faster than high tech can become automotive?” and “How autonomous vehicles will emerge in cities around the world.”


In the first presentation, a compelling argument was made that today’s high-tech companies, such as Amazon, Google, DiDi, Uber, etc., have the technology and capital to surpass GM, Ford and Toyota if these automotive giants don’t evolve and innovate at a faster pace. The second presentation was fascinating. It covered how technology will enable autonomous vehicles to emerge and then integrate, first into cities’ mass-transit systems; next as private-transportation fleet vehicles for intra-city mobility; and third, as privately leased, publicly shared autonomous vehicles.


This last phase means you or I would lease an autonomous vehicle for our private use, and when we are sleeping or otherwise not using it, our autonomous vehicle is rented to others in order to keep the vehicle 100 percent utilized, much like the airline-industry business model.

What priority were safety solutions given at the event? Are automakers asking for them?

The round table discussions, which made up most of the second half of the morning sessions, focused on the safety records of the automotive market and that of autonomous vehicles. There was much discussion around the recent autonomous vehicle accident in Arizona, and whether the technology had failed or the driver-pilot failed by not paying enough attention to what the vehicle was doing at the time.


While automakers have dramatically improved car safety in recent decades, with advancements such as strategically placed air bags and high-tech collision-avoidance systems, other factors have kept the death toll high. Key to the crisis is distracted driving, speeding, and people who still don't use their seat belts.


The National Safety Council estimated that 40,100 people were killed in 2017 accidents, down about 1 percent from its 2016 estimate, but up about 6 percent from 2015. As a society, it has been hard for us to recognize and accept that autonomous vehicles, which have safely traveled millions of miles and caused one reported death, are actually less deadly than human-conducted vehicles, which are responsible for 100-plus deaths on a daily basis. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that 94 percent of serious crashes are due to poor human choices!


What does Motion Intelligence offer the industry as it trends toward increased connectivity and personalized, in-vehicle smartphone experiences?

Technology enables our vehicles to become a mobile extension of our smart devices, but it also contributes to us being distracted when we should be concentrating on driving. Motion Intelligence’s value proposition is about enabling a safe vehicle by securing the driver’s zone and preventing any distraction caused by smart mobile devices located inside the driver’s zone. Once the driver and driver’s zone are free from smart-mobile device-distraction, our technology enables an “enhanced passenger experience.”


The MI technology detects and precisely locates all passenger smart mobile devices, and then enables directed and personalized navigation, infotainment, and e-commerce services based on passenger seat locations, interests, tastes, age, gender, etc.


One automaker told me that as we move to autonomous vehicles, private vehicle ownership will become less important, however vehicle “brand” experience will become the deciding factor as to which autonomous vehicle you order for a prom date, wedding anniversary dinner or ladies’ night out. The connection and experience between the autonomous vehicle and the passengers’ smart mobile device will be the deciding factor in achieving an “enhanced” passenger experience. In addition to our safety features, Motion Intelligence enables this type of personalized in-vehicle experience.