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A look in the rearview mirror: top 9 mobility data topics on people’s minds in 2020

Arity · January 4, 2021 · 5 min read
In 2020, not only did people change their driving behaviors, they changed their mindsets. Check out the top 9 blog posts from last year.

Each year, we evaluate which driving and transportation data topics resonated most with our audience in the past 12 months. Some years, it has been decreasing risk for insurance companies. Other years, it has been finding the right drivers and optimizing operations of shared mobility companies. Would 2020 be any different?

Of course, with the pandemic and stay-at-home guidelines in place for most of the year, the answer is a resounding YES.

In 2020, people have been most interested in how driving behaviors are rapidly evolving, and how this might influence their business.

Here are the top 9 Arity blog posts of 2020:

  1. Coronavirus and travel: How America’s personal travel behavior has changed during COVID-19

This article presents data on total miles traveled by vehicle in the United States from March 10 to April 5, 2020. It’s no surprise that travel dropped by 45%-70% in most states.

  1. Are people driving less? How Americans are coping with COVID-19

 Arity research shows how many trips per day per vehicle people were taking in January 2020 compared to March 10 through March 22, 2020. A dramatic drop in daily trips occurred on March 10 and the numbers continued to fall over the next 12 days. Arity also compared trip distance from January to March 2020 to the same period in 2019. The differences are dramatic.

  1. During the COVID-19 pandemic people are traveling less, but that’s not the whole story…

By the end of April 2020, Arity had dug deeper into driving data to discover that people had decreased their driving up to two weeks prior to any states issuing a shelter-in-place advisory. What’s more, certain subsets of people began driving more year over year, compared to February of 2020. Traffic patterns began to level out, too: weekdays and weekend traffic patterns started to look the same.

  1. Massive shifts in commuter habits point to a ‘new normal’ and changes in transportation

By early August 2020, Arity data showed that some of the new driving behaviors and impacts on businesses due to new driving behaviors were likely here to stay. New commuter habits and evolving mindsets about what is “safe” are changing, and 25% of American drivers who were surveyed did not plan to return to their previous modes of transportation.

  1. Four ways the insurance industry can use telematics to improve customer engagement

Arity’s article about how telematics and smartphones can offer insurance companies a new business model is our fifth most popular post in 2020. This article shows how insurance companies can develop more meaningful engagements with customers. It seems that leveraging connectivity to power the future of auto insurance is a hot topic.

  1. Discovering mobility data: What it means for your business

What is mobility data, anyway, and how can it help businesses? This question was on top of people’s minds in 2020, and this article provides a helpful modern definition of mobility data and how it can be translated into meaningful and actionable insights for businesses, including within the sharing economy. In one key point, it discusses the need for mobility data to be able to distinguish between passenger and driver.

  1. Are drivers still hunkered down at home or are they starting to venture out?

It turns out, the answer to this question is more nuanced than simply providing year-over-year driving data averages. Yes, people were starting to drive more by May 2020 (compared to the previous two months), but the overall frequency was down, and it really depended on what kind of community the driver lived in. Driving was higher in less densely populated areas than it was in cities.

  1. Why auto insurers should leverage actual driving behaviors for advertising

Mobility data continues to be shown to “supercharge” the sales funnel as well as increase lifetime value of an insurance company’s book of business. This article explains how the insurance company is beginning to leverage driving behavior data from a mobile device to target advertising.

  1. This just in: consumers are now much more comfortable with sharing driving data

In September 2020, Arity researchers found that consumers are much more open to having their auto insurance be priced based on their driving behaviors, compared to just a year before. Why the shift? Arity asked more than 1,000 licensed drivers their thoughts and provides the results in this article.

2020 Popular Driving Data Topics in Summary

In 2020, not only did people change their driving behaviors, they changed their mindsets, and it appears that these changes will stick around even after the pandemic is over.

What’s more, considering the popularity of these top 9 articles, businesses are paying attention to these changes and are very interested in exploring how mobility data can influence their business planning, forecasting, and other future-forward thinking strategies. The big question is … what will 2021 bring?

If your business could benefit from understanding how driving behaviors are changing in specific geolocations — historically and in real-time — contact Arity for more information.

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