Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

$14.5 million to company that nitpicks your driving habits

GreenRoad's software gives you safe-driving tips and tells your boss if you throw beer cans out the window.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos

GreenRoad Technologies exists because, as a driver, you probably suck.

The company has developed a software program that analyzes a person's driving habits and then reports back to their boss, insurance company, or, conceivably, the rental car agency. The idea is to identify problem drivers and/or bad driving habits (rapid starts and slamming breaks). Conversely, good habits can be rewarded. The software largely gets sold to owners of large fleets of cars, like delivery companies. But it's not all criticism. The program also provides drivers tips on how to improve on safety and fuel economy.

By installing the software, some corporate customers have managed to reduce accidents by 54 percent and lower accident costs by 65 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions have declined by 7 percent in some instances.

In a test with T-Mobile, the software helped reduce "risky driving behavior" (like talking on a cell phone while driving?) in six weeks by 50 percent. After several months, accidents dropped by 23 percent.

Nissan Motor is working on similar technologies.

Benchmark Capital and Virgin Green Funds, among others, announced today that they put $14.5 million into the company. You have to wonder if Sir Richard Branson from Virgin would put this in his car. Ten points off--playing Tubular Bells at high volume.