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Softbank-backed startup powers second edition of ‘Boston’s Safest Driver’

Boston Business Journal
By April 30, 2019 No Comments

A SoftBank-backed Cambridge startup that uses smartphone data to analyze driver behavior is again partnering with city officials in the “Boston’s Safest Driver” competition.

Cambridge Mobile Telematics, or CMT, is the technology provider of the competition, which uses a smartphone-based app to score drivers on their behaviors.

CMT was also a partner in the first edition of the competition, which awarded a total of $4,500 to four top winners in January 2017. Last year, the MIT-born company scored a $500 million investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which was by far the biggest cash haul for any Massachusetts tech startup in 2018.

CMT, which was founded in 2010 by current CEO Bill Powers and MIT computer science professors Hari Balakrishnan and Sam Madden, is using the funding to grow its team of just over 100 employees, according to Ryan McMahon, vice president of marketing at CMT.

The app that contestants need to download to take part in Boston’s Safest Driver uses smartphone sensors to detect speeding and braking. Once installed, users don’t need to interact with the app, which works automatically in the background, according to McMahon. At the end of the trip, the app provides drivers with feedback based on their performance behind the wheel.

“With that feedback then, they can see specifically where on the road they may have been speeding, or taking a corner a little too fast and, most importantly, where they were distracted and how fast they were going when that happened,” McMahon told the Boston Business Journal.

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