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Title:
DRIVE PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND ENHANCEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/001125
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Apparatus and a process for monitoring the performance of a driver of a vehicle. The indicated identity of the driver is determined. Data is recorded representing vehicle operating characteristics whilst the indicated driver is driving the vehicle, and used to calculate a measure of the performance of the driver. Data relating to th vehicle operating characteristics whilst being driven by the driver on one occasion may be compared with historical data relating to the vehicle operating characteristi whilst being driven by the driver on at least one previous occasion, to indicate changes or trends in the performance of the driver. The comparison may be used to determine whether the indicated driver is the actual driver.

Inventors:
COLE STEPHEN (GB)
SZCZYGIEL MICHAEL (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2007/002463
Publication Date:
January 03, 2008
Filing Date:
July 02, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AUTO TXT LTD (GB)
COLE STEPHEN (GB)
SZCZYGIEL MICHAEL (GB)
International Classes:
G07C5/08; A61B5/18; G09B19/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO1992003803A11992-03-05
Foreign References:
DE4338073C22003-07-24
EP0178439A21986-04-23
EP1328857A22003-07-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BUTLER, Michael, John (St Bride's House10 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8JD, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Apparatus for monitoring the performance of a driver of a vehicle, comprising means for use in determining the identity of the driver, means for recording data representing vehicle operating characteristics whilst the driver is driving the vehicle, and means for use in calculating a measure of the performance of the driver from the recorded data representing vehicle operating characteristics.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the means for calculating the measure of performance uses data related to the driver and which indicates at least one relationship between the vehicle operating characteristics and data indicating driver performance.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein verification of the identity of the driver is carried out on the vehicle.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein verification of the identity of the driver is carried out at a remote location by means of data transmitted from the vehicle.

5. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein means for calculating the measure of the performance of the driver from the recorded data is located on the vehicle.

6. Apparatus as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, wherein means for calculating the measure of the performance of the driver is at a remote location and uses data transmitted from the vehicle.

7. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the measure of driver performance is a numerical value.

8. Apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the measure of driver performance is a code.

9. A process for monitoring the performance of a driver of a vehicle, comprising determining the identity of the driver, recording data representing vehicle operating characteristics whilst the driver is driving the vehicle, and calculating a measure of the performance of the driver from the recorded data representing vehicle operating characteristics.

10. A method as claimed in claim 10, wherein data relating to the vehicle operating characteristics whilst being driven by the driver on an occasion is compared with historical data relating to the vehicle operating characteristics whilst being driven by the driver on at least one previous occasion, to indicate changes or trends in the performance of the driver.

11. A method of authenticating the actual driver of a vehicle, comprising the steps of obtaining an indication of the identity of a driver, recording data related to vehicle operating characteristics whilst the actual driver is driving the vehicle on an occasion, and comparing that data with historical data related to the vehicle operating characteristics whilst being driven by the indicated driver on at least one previous occasion, so as to determine the likelihood of the indicated driver being the actual driver.

Description:

Driving Performance Monitoring and Enhancement

The present invention relates to a system for monitoring and enhancing driver performance to improve operating skills and safety for drivers of motor vehicles.

It is well recognised that the considerable increase in the number of motor vehicles on the roads has resulted in a corresponding increase in collisions and highway accidents. These collisions and accidents are often caused as a result of driver error resulting from a variety of causes such as a lack of attention, distractions, poor driving habits or shortcomings in driving skill or techniques.

Many factors have been identified as contributing to the increase in road accidents such as road congestion, poor driver training and the like. It has also been recognised that the increase in sophistication in many modern vehicles now provides the driver with a plethora of features which distract the driver from the fundamentals of operating the vehicle. Examples include mobile telephones, satellite navigation systems, in-car entertainment, climate control information and so forth.

These, and other factors, have increased the demands on drivers considerably and often result in a deterioration in a driver's performance. The terms 'performance' and 'driver performance' is used herein to refer generally to a measure of driver actions in various assessment areas such as speed, handling, braking and so forth against a set of criteria with numeric thresholds that categorise the actions into categories such as excellent, good, fair, marginal, unsafe or dangerous performance.

Various systems have been developed in the motor industry aimed at improving and monitoring the performance of drivers of motor vehicles.

In terms of improving driver performance a number of government initiatives have sought to limit how much drivers are distracted whilst driving motor vehicles. Two such examples (both funded by the European Union) are the Generic Intelligent Driver Support System (GIDS) and the Application of Real -Time Intelligent Aid for

Driving and Navigation Enhancement (ARIADNE). These projects, amongst many others, were concerned with electronic monitoring of vehicle systems, assessing driver workloads and providing information to a driver in an intelligent manner.

An example of the results of these projects can be found in Volvo's Integrated Driver Information System (IDIS) which assesses driver workload via data coming from the various electronic systems of the car and suppresses non-essential communications with the driver during periods of high workload, most notably incoming mobile phone calls. For example, the system may determine that it is raining using data received from the windscreen wiper sensors and that the vehicle is in an overtaking manoeuvre from data received from the road speed indicator and turn indicator. In the event that a mobile phone call is incoming, or an instructions from the Sat-Nav system is about to be issued, this would then be suppressed until this manoeuvre was complete and the driver was again in a safe condition to receive the information.

Another example of improving driver performance is described in EP 01988663. Here a system is described in which the workload of the driver is assessed and assistance and alerts are offered to the driver, in real-time, so as to improve safety and prevent driver cognitive overload.

The monitoring or determination of a driver's performance and thereby the safety of the vehicle driver, vehicle passengers and other road users is of particular importance in the fields of driver training and motor insurance. In the field of insurance for example, it is essential that an insurance provider is able to determine how 'safe' a particular driver is and thus the risk that the driver presents to the insurer.

Traditionally an insurance cost or premium has been determined using historical and statistical data. For example, a driver conventionally presents details such as age, driving and insurance claim history and car details which are then used by the insurer to calculate an insurance cost. However, these estimates are only determined

once a year and do not account for the day-to-day risks the driver presents to the insurer.

To provide a more accurate indication of the risks presented by a driver a number of systems have been developed which aim to determine more accurately how 'safe' a particular driver is.

An example of such a system is described in US 6,868,386. Here, a system is described in which data is continuously screened in real time from sensors throughout the car. This data is evaluated to identify instances (trigger points) where violations of safety occur. In effect it is oriented towards compliance with predefined safety standards or, more precisely, the reporting of non-compliance with these standards to a monitoring body. The details of vehicle operation at these trigger points are recorded and communicated to a remote processing centre where they are used to calculate risk.

Although systems of this type do provide a more accurate indication of a driver's risk, they do have a number of significant drawbacks.

For example, the monitoring devices known in the art are preloaded with data indicating what is considered to be unsafe or dangerous driving behaviour. This data defines the 'trigger points'. The technique of screening for trigger point "breaches", whilst useful, does not address driving skills to clearly distinguish between what is excellent, average, or poor driving performance but rather it merely communicates data from the vehicle after a trigger has been breach or violated.

Furthermore, it does not track trends that could lead to a trigger point breach. Over the course of one or several journeys the totality of trigger point breaches could result in a considerable amount of data being communicated from the vehicle to the data receiver e.g. an insurance company. Thus, with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of vehicles, the volume of data being communicated, and thus the communication system required to handle the data, is substantial.

It can be seen that there has been considerable investment in the form of government initiatives (and also from industry) in an attempt to improve driver safety and to determine how safe a given driver is. Despite the investment described above there is still a significant need for a system which can provide a secure, effective and efficient means to monitor a particular driver's performance whilst operating a particular vehicle.

Viewed from a first aspect there is provided a method of monitoring a driver of a vehicle comprising the steps of determining the identity of a driver, receiving data related to the identified driver and indicating one or more relationship(s) between vehicle operating characteristics and values indicating driver performance, receiving vehicle operating data indicating vehicle operating characteristics and, using said relationship(s) and said vehicle operating data to determine a value representing driver performance.

Viewed from another aspect there is provided a driver monitoring apparatus comprising a data processor arranged to receive an indication of the identity of a driver, data related to the identified driver indicating one or more relationship(s) between vehicle operating characteristics and values indicating driver performance and vehicle data indicating vehicle operating characteristics, wherein the data processing means is arranged to determine a value representing driver performance using said relationship(s) and said received vehicle data.

The determined value indicating driver performance is preferably a single value which is a measure of the skill and safety of the driver. The value is determined by applying the received relationships (or rules), for the identified driver, to the received vehicle operating data. In effect the value is a driving Performance Quotient (PQ) for the identified driver. It will be recognised that the PQ may be a code or numerical value or other suitable indication which can be processed, stored and communicated electronically.

The PQ may conveniently be used in combination with predefined thresholds to categorise the driver into one or more categories for driving performance. For example categories may be defined for excellent, good, average or poor driving performance in one or more areas e.g. braking, accelerating, attention to driving conditions and so forth. Preferably the relationships and PQs are used to provide an aggregate PQ giving an overall indication of the category of a driver's performance. Moreover, the driver may wish to have the choice to have the PQ communicated to them personally in a variety of ways: the default normalised PQ used by third parties such as insurers augmented by frames of reference that the driver can more emotionally relate to such as Intelligence Quotients (IQ), familiar games, sports and so forth.

The received relationships may relate to one or more vehicle operating characteristics but are preferably arranged to relate combinations of vehicle operating characteristics. For example, accelerating and braking may have a particular relationship with outside conditions such as temperature or rain. Thus, complex interrelationships between various aspects (or perhaps substantially all) of the operating characteristics of the car can be used to return a single PQ using the predefined relationships or rules. This may further be in combination with rules that evolve from driving experience through a learning process using but not limited to artificial intelligence methods implemented in software.

The relationships are preferably driver specific such that different drivers will have different relationships or rules applied to the vehicle operating characteristics data. In effect the relationships (or rules) form part of an identified driver's profile. For example, a particular driver may have a previous speeding conviction and the relationships used to determine the driver's PQ may be biased to operation of the vehicle at lower speeds.

The PQ itself may be determined in any suitable way, for example by means of a predetermined algorithm received and processed by the data processor, wherein the input parameters to the algorithm are one or more vehicle operating characteristics

(e.g. vehicle speed). Alternatively, the PQ may be determined using a suitable lookup table or using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and the like.

Thus, there is provided a method of determining a driver's performance in which a single value or PQ can be returned. The PQ may be used by a wide range of parties, service providers or the like who have an interest in the driving performance of the driver. This may, for example, be an insurance company and thus, another aspect of an invention can be seen to be a method of determining an insurance premium for a particular driver in accordance with the methods and apparatus described herein.

In effect, by means of suitable predetermined relationships for a given driver, there is provided a method and apparatus for providing a PQ indicative of the driver's performance taking into account not only unsafe or dangerous driving but also how the driver operates the vehicle for a range of assessment categories. These may include for example, steering, braking, speed, acceleration and so forth. Thus it is possible to distinguish between excellent, good , adequate, and marginal performance and sets thresholds for each. An example would be the relationship between engine revolutions per minute (RPM), speed and gear changes. A good drivers knows when to change gear and do it consistently. A bad driver generally does not. This is especially relevant regarding fuel consumption and the environment.

The vehicle operating data may also include data relating to diagnostic fault codes received from the car control system(s). These fault codes are available from the on-board diagnostics (OBD) interface or directly from the Vehicle Data Network (a feature of modern motor vehicles). A fault code may for example be a low tyre pressure, or a brake warning indicator.

It will be appreciated that the communication apparatus necessary to communicate and to receive a single value or PQ, as opposed to the all vehicle operating data, is considerably less than would be required with prior art systems, even with some suitable data compression, screening or the like.

As discussed above the relationship(s) are driver specific and hence accurately and securely determining the identity of the driver is essential, particularly for insurance applications.

The driver may be identified in any suitable way, for example by means of a simple password or pin number entered into an in-car keypad or interface. This has drawbacks in that the driver must remember a code and the vehicle must be provided with a suitable data entry device arranged to communicate the code to the data processor.

Preferably, the driver's identity is determined passively by means of a device which the driver would normally carry or hold. For example, the driver may be identified by means of a personal effect which has been suitably tagged and which can be identified by in-car apparatus. For example, the vehicle operating apparatus may be arranged to identify a driver on communication with an radio frequency identify tag (RFID) attached to a personal effect of the driver.

Any suitable identification means may be used, using any suitable communication arrangement. For example, a mobile telephone may be used or a personal digital assistant (PDA). Such devices may be arranged to communicate with the in-car system by means of Bluetooth, infra-red or other suitable method.

Personal effects could for example include fashion accessories, clothing, key rings, tags or even surgical implants which are suitably tagged.

In essence the device or effect used to identify the driver can be considered to be a "second key" which is used to confirm the identity of the driver, the first key being the conventional ignition key (or card/code in some vehicles) used to access and start the vehicle.

By using an identification device which the user normally has, or normally carries, there is less chance that the device will be forgotten and, furthermore, it makes the theft of a vehicle more difficult because it will not be immediately apparent which of the driver's belongings is the 'tagged' device or product required to identify the driver.

Thus, in accordance with the method and apparatus described herein the identity of a driver can be safely and securely determined and an appropriate profile for the driver used in assessing driver performance.

The data processing means and/or data storage means is preferably arranged to store data relating to authorised drivers of a particular vehicle. Thus, it is possible to determine if the person operating or attempting to operate the vehicle is authorised to do so. In the event that the identified person is not authorised to operate the vehicle the data processor may disable PQ calculation such that the authorised driver's PQ and or data is not affected by the unauthorised driver. Additionally or alternatively the data processor may be arranged to indicate to the driver or to a remote third party that an unauthorised driver is operating or attempting to operate ' the vehicle. This can be considered to be yet another aspect of an invention disclosed herein.

, The data processor and/or data storage means is preferably provided with a list of authorised drivers. Thus, a plurality of different drivers can all operate the same vehicle and have their performance assessed using their own individual profile.

A plurality of vehicles may be provided with the apparatus and thus, an aggregate PQ can be developed for the use of a number of vehicles by an authorised driver. This would preferably be determined by a third party such as an insurance company or the like. Thus, this invention extends to an arrangement for multiple drivers using one vehicle and one driver using multiple vehicles.

The determination of the PQ for a driver is preferably performed by suitable data processing apparatus within the vehicle and then communicated to the relevant third parties by a suitable communication arrangement. This may for example be by means of radio or cellular telephone transmission or the like to a central data processing centre.

Individual journey PQs may be determined continuously. Preferably the instantaneous PQs are used to continuously update an aggregate PQ for all journeys within a current performance assessment period such as a week or a month. Individual journey PQs and the aggregate PQs for all journeys are preferably communicated to the control centre at pre-determined intervals such as the end of the week or month.

The vehicle data processing apparatus may also be arranged to receive updates to the driver's profile (or profiles for multiple drivers) at intervals from the third party. The data processor may also be arranged to receive additional profiles for new authorised users of a particular vehicle. Thus, a vehicle user operating database (contained within the vehicle) can be generated for a given vehicle, such as a fleet or hire car, wherein only drivers appearing in an appropriate database are determined to be authorised drivers. Such a database may be updated at predetermined times or may be updated in response to a new unknown driver attempting to operate a vehicle.

Preferably, the data processing apparatus is arranged to communicate with the in-car control electronics system to receive the vehicle operating characteristics. It will be appreciated that the vehicle operating characteristics can include any aspect of the car's operation including outside operating conditions. The data processing apparatus may also be arranged to receive external information which may be used in the determination of the PQ. For example, the processor may be arranged to receive Global Positioning System (GPS) data indicating the location of the car and weather information, either or both of which may be used to as part of the monitoring process.

T/GB2007/002463

- 10 -

The data processor is also preferably provided with suitable data storage means to record vehicle operating characteristics. This may be selectively configured by the user to record all vehicle/journey data or a subset thereof over a user defined period 5. of time, for example a particular journey, journeys over a week, or journeys over a month etc.. Alternatively, the processor may be arranged to communicate the data continuously to a local data storage device or means i.e. a storage device within the vehicle.

0 As well as storing and/or communicating the PQ, the data processing apparatus is preferably configurable by the driver to store or to communicate all or a subset of the driver performance assessment summaries and vehicle operating characteristics to one or more third parties for a particular time period or journey. This may for example be required by a third party such as an insurance company for the insurance 5 of a particular driver. For example, a driver with a motoring conviction, such as speeding, may be required to provide aggregated summaries of speed data as well as the PQ value.

Many drivers may wish their performance data to remain private and therefore not communicated to one or more third parties. In effect, in accordance with an aspect of a further invention described herein, there is provided a system and method in which the user can determine how little or how much information is to be communicated to the relevant third party. The minimum information communicated could for example be the PQ value and the maximum communicated could be a complete compilation of the individual detailed assessments from which the PQ value is derived over the predetermined time period.

Viewed from yet another aspect there is provided a method of monitoring a driver of a vehicle comprising the steps of, receiving during the operation of a vehicle, vehicle operating data indicating vehicle operating characteristics and selectively communicating all or a subset of said received data to a local or remote data storage

or processor means in accordance with predetermined rules relating to communication of all or a subset of said data.

The rules are predetermined by the driver in accordance with any legal requirements or agreements with a third party e.g. an insurance company. Thus, the driver has discretion over the amount of data which is released or communicated to the third party.

The method of transmission to the third party may be encrypted in a suitable way to further protect the driver's data and to prevent unauthorised access to the vehicle operating characteristics which may, in one example, include the routes driven by the driver.

The data processing apparatus may be arranged to communicate all or parts of the vehicle operating data to a removable or remote data storage device. For example the processor may be provided with means to communicate data to a PDA, memory stick or the like by suitable wireless or physical connection so that data can be retrieved, processed and analysed after a journey or journeys. This could also, in another embodiment, be used to provide information to a third party in the event that wireless communication with a control centre was not possible.

The data communicated or retrieved from the vehicle may be used for a number of purposes. For example, the data can be used by the driver, or other party, for post driving analysis such as driver training, coaching or the like. In one embodiment the processor may be arranged to communicate with a PDA or the like during a journey to store journey data. This can then be conveniently taken from the vehicle by the driver and analysed to determine areas of good or poor driving performance. It will be appreciated that this may be of particular benefit to motoring enthusiasts who want to record vehicle operating conditions and so forth over a journey on a race track or the like.

The PDA may also be arranged to perform real-time analysis of data which may be communicated to the driver in real-time i.e. whilst operating the vehicle.

It will be appreciated that the determination of driving performance for an identified driver can also be used to monitor the driver's performance over an extended period of time and to determine changes and/or trends in driving style or performance. Trends may be communicated to the driver and/or third party and may be determined by the data processor or more preferably as part of a post journey analysis by the driver or third party.

Viewed from yet another aspect there is provided a method of monitoring a driver's performance comprising the steps of identifying a driver, receiving data indicating the operating characteristics of a driven vehicle and data indicating historical operating characteristics for the identified driver, wherein the received data relating to the driven vehicle is compared with the historical data to determine changes and/or trends in the driving performance of the vehicle.

As discussed above with reference to other aspects of inventions, the analysis may . be performed continuously as part of a data processing apparatus in the vehicle or, alternatively, it may be performed as a post journey analysis. Thus, changes in driver performance can be detected, some or which may indicate a move towards a less safe style of driving. This deeper differentiation of driver performance can provide early warning of trends in the driver's performance which may lead to unsafe behaviour and accidents if not highlighted and corrected.

Monitoring statistically significant changes and/or trends in driver performance can also be used as a further means to identify a driver and/or to confirm the identity of a driver.

The profile of the driver communicated to the in-car data processing device discussed above may also preferably contain data indicating the historical driving pattern or performance of the particular driver. For example, data may be received

indicating the historical way in which the driver changes gear, accelerates or brakes. This information can be used as a further and third level of identification for the driver.

Viewed from yet another aspect there is provided a method of authenticating a driver of a vehicle comprising the steps of receiving an indication of a driver's identity, receiving data indicating the operating characteristics of a driven vehicle and data indicating historical operating characteristics of the identified driver for a vehicle, wherein the received data relating to the driven vehicle is compared with the historical data received relating to the said driver to authenticate the driver.

If the historical data matches (within accepted statistical limits) the received data from the driven vehicle then it can be determined that the vehicle is being operated by an authentic or authorised driver. If the received data falls outside of accepted or pre-determined limits then it can be determined that the driver is not authentic or authorised. The determination my be in the form of a positive signal or value indicating an authentic driver, a negative signal or value indicating an non-authentic driver. Alternatively no signal or value may be returned from the comparison indicating an unauthorised driver.

Thus, there is provided an improved security measure to determine if the driver of the vehicle is in fact who they claim to be by virtue of the driver identification steps discussed above. For example, a theft may have occurred where a driver's car key and mobile telephone had been stolen i.e. both first and second keys have been obtained. In this situation the unauthorised driver would be able to drive the vehicle using the 'authorised' driver's profile. However, the driving 'style' of the unauthorised user will differ to that of the 'authorised' user stored as part of the authorised driver's profile. Thus, by comparing the data (by means of data processor or the like) it is possible to establish if the driver is the authorised driver or not.

It will be appreciated that suitable statistical analysis of the data may be used to account for normal variations in data to accurately determine if there is sufficient

deviation from the historic data to indicate that an unauthorised driver is operating the vehicle.

The historical data may include information relating to the normal geographical area in which the driver normally travels. Additionally or alternatively the authorised driver may set up parameters forming part of the historical data defining limits which, if exceeded, are used to indicate an unauthorised operation of a vehicle. For example a particular region may be defined as a 'no-go' area or a particular speed may be used. Thus, limits on the operation of the vehicle may be used or the vehicle 'curfew' for specific time periods to indicate an unauthorised operation of a vehicle.

It will also be appreciated that this arrangement can be implemented into the data processing apparatus described above and may use the same communication arrangements to receive and communicate relevant data to and from the vehicle.

In the event of a mismatch of driving characteristics and historical data a third party, such as a security business or the insurer, may be provided with a signal, value or indication that the driver may not be authorised. In such a situation the authorised driver may be contacted using a suitable means to confirm that they are driving the vehicle. This may for example be my means of a voice telephone call, pager or other form of communication directly with the authorised driver or vehicle.

Alternatively the vehicle may be provided with a warning indicator or the like requesting that the driver confirms their identity. In effect there is provided a fourth step of identifying the driver which may be by any suitable means such as a pin number entry onto a suitable control panel or the like.

Still further, the data processor may be instructed, in response to control signals from a remote control centre to transmit the coordinates of the vehicle (for example by means of GPS or beacon) back to a control centre without providing any indication to the driver. Thus, in effect, the vehicle is switched to a 'stealth' tracking mode in which the driver is unaware that the geographical location of the vehicle is

being monitored and communicated to a third party. Thus, a fourth level of security is provided.

It will be recognised that although the aspects, examples and embodiments disclosed herein refer to motor vehicles, the inventions can equally be applied to any suitable mode of transport where determining or improving driver performance is an advantage or where authenticating a driver or operator is necessary.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings and table in which :

FIGURE IA is a schematic of the Heinrich Accident Pyramid;

FIGURE IB shows the an additional level to the Heinrich Pyramid in accordance with the present invention;

FIGURE 1C shows the two levels of the extended Heinrich Pyramid shown in Figure IB;

FIGURE 2 is an overall schematic of the invention showing the main functional domains

FIGURE 3; shows the main components of the 'Secure Embedded In- Vehicle Computer 1 and its associated external links;

FIGURE 4 shows the system components and interrelationships;

FIGURE 5 A shows the hierarchy of reporting detail for driver assessments; FIGURE 5B show the distribution of the reporting detail to authorised recipients via the Secure Service Centre;

FIGURES 6 A and 6B show examples of the levels of driver assessment reporting detail by level;

FIGURE 7 shows a scheme whereby driver PQs and related details are consolidated across multiple vehicles;

FIGURE 8 shows a web-based scheme for driver coaching using actual performance assessment data captured from journey's taken by the drivers.

For the purposes of describing embodiments of the inventions the following terms and acronyms are used.

Internet : A collection of interconnected (public and/or private) networks that are linked together by a set of standard protocols (such as TCP/DP and HTTP) to form a global, distributed network. While this term is intended to refer to what is now commonly known as the Internet, it is also intended to encompass variations which may be made in the future, including changes and additions to existing standard protocols.

World Wide Web ("Web") :

Used herein to refer generally to both (1) a distributed collection of interlined, user- viewable hypertext documents (commonly referred to as Web documents or Web pages) that are accessible via the Internet, and (2) the client and server software components which provide user access to such documents using standardised Internet protocols. Currently, the primary standard protocol for allowing applications to locate and acquire Web documents is HTTP, and the Web pages are encoded using HTML. However, the terms "Web" and "World Wide Web" are intended to encompass future mark-up languages and transport protocols which may be used in place of (or in addition to) HTML and HTTP.

Web Site :

A computer system that serves informational content over a network using the standard protocols of the World Wide Web. Typically, a Web site corresponds to a particular Internet domain name, such as "progressive.com," and includes the content associated with a particular organization. As used herein, the term is generally intended to encompass both (1) the hardware/software server components that serve the informational content over the network, and (2) the "back end" hardware/software components including any non-standard or specialised components, that interact with the server components to perform services for Web site users.

Secure Service Centre (SSC) :

An information processing centre providing standards of security information processing, communication and storage comparable to those used in high security industries such as (but not limited to) banking or financial services and familiar to those skilled in the art of such systems. Specific functions would include (but not be limited to) (1) communication via wireless networks of software and data between the SSC and a secure communication device in a remote motor vehicle. Such communication would use encryption methods familiar to those skilled in the art, (2) Registration of customer information including customer account details, the motor vehicles they are authorised to drive and the personal mobile devices they will use for automatic driver recognition by the security devices in those motor vehicles.(3) Compilation of reports from data transferred from the secure communication device in a remote motor vehicle and the distribution of such reports to third parties according to stated customer preferences and imposed conditions by (but not limited to) insurers, courts and driver training bodies.

Embedded :

A combination of hardware and software, which together form a component of a larger machine. An example of an embedded system may be a microprocessor that controls an automobile engine. An embedded system is designed to run on its own without human intervention, and may be required to respond to events in real time.

Communications Gateway :

A communications gateway device that connects two computer networks that use different protocols. It translates between protocols so that computers on the connected networks can exchange data. For example, commercial online services often have gateways for sending email to Internet addresses.

Personal Communicator :

In the first embodiment of the invention this refers to a mobile phone or communications enabled PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) :

Refers to a wide variety of handheld and palm-size PCs, electronic organisers, Smartphones, and pagers. A pocket-sized personal computer. PDAs usually can store phone numbers, appointments, and to-do lists. Some PDAs have a small keyboard, others have only a special pen that is used for input and output. A PDA can also have a wireless fax modem. Files can be created on a PDA which can be later entered into a larger computer.

Coaching

Used in the context of this invention coaching is a process that guides the student (i.e. driver) through their recorded driver performance data to understand the reasons for their substandard performance and what steps are needed to improve their performance. As such it is a separate and distinct process from classroom instruction.

Vehicle Network :

An in vehicle data network using any one of a variety of network protocols known to those familiar with the art including but not limited to Control Area Network (CAN), SAEJ1939, J1708, SAEJ1979, J1850JSO15765, ISO9141, and OBD-II), TTCAN (SAE J2602), FlexRay

In-Car/Near-Car Communications :

This refers to short range wireless communications between a mobile device and an embedded in-vehicle computer operative at distances of up to 100 meters.

Performance Assessment :

The quantitative rating of a driver's performance against specific metrics. The quantitative rating is expressed as a Performance Quotient (PQ).

Sensor : A device that measures or detects a real- world condition, such as motion, heat or light and converts the condition into an analogue or digital representation

Global Positioning System (GPS) :

A system of 24 satellites orbiting the earth at a very high altitude that transmit continually, which make it possible to identify earth locations through a receiving unit by triangulation. hi addition to navigation, the system also provides very precise time. GPS signals, GPS C/A code, GPS Pcode

Figures IA to 1C show aspects of the Heinrich Pyramid which illustrate some of the principles behind one aspect of an invention.

Originally developed for understanding accident causes in the workplace The Heinrich Pyramid showed that for every 300 unsafe acts there are 29 (circa 30) minor injuries and 1 serious injury or death. Although it was conceived with industrial workplace safety in mind and the specific numeric ratios between the levels are different for other sectors, the Heinrich Pyramid is broadly accepted as a conceptual model by practitioners and experts in many fields of safety including transportation. As it relates to driving, this means that most collisions are not the result of a one-time mistake; they are the ultimate consequence of repeating risky driving behaviours.

An aspect of the present invention uses this principle as a basis for monitoring driver performance. This is shown in figure IB. Here it is illustrated 300 unsafe 'driver behaviours' can be expected to result in a serious accident. Below this 300 figure there is shown a further extension to the Heinrich Pyramid which extends the Heinrich concept to substandard performance which although safe can over time show a trend towards crossing into the Unsafe level. The 1 to 300 ratio used here is for example only and does not limit the application where there is some variance in the ratio.

As shown in figure IB there are acts related to substandard performance which directly lead to unsafe behaviours in the same way that the unsafe behaviours lead to minor injuries and then on to the serious accident. These '4th level 1 incidents of substandard performance can be considered to be minor incidents or trends which a driver has which themselves lead to unsafe acts.

As an example a driver may approach a stop sign too quickly on a more and more frequent basis. Although normally the way will be clear, occasionally the driver will have to brake heavily resulting in an unsafe act. Continuing with this trend of 'substandard performance' will therefore ultimately result in a serious accident.

This aspect of an invention described herein aims to prevent this occurring by establishing trends of 'substandard performance' which indicate poor driver performance and which ultimately lead to driver error and accidents. Figure 1C illustrates how the bottom layer can be divided into unsafe acts corresponding to the third level of the Heinrich pyramid and the fourth level of substandard performance which is provided by the trend analysis of an invention claimed herein. The application of this trend analysis is described in more detail below.

Figures 2 onward illustrate specific details of embodiments of the invention as now described.

Figure 2 shows the 3 key 'domains' according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, these are the Secure Service Centre (SSC) 223, the Vehicle 201 and Driver 226 with the main information interconnections between each of these 'domains'.

The Secure Service Centre 223 also has information links to external organisations 229 such as insurers and mentors (e.g. driver training schools), court appointed overseers and so forth. The SSC also has links with a Coaching Web Site 235 which in turn can be accessed by the Driver 226 for driver initiated post-journey performance assessment uploading and coaching purposes. This is described in more detail below.

The driver's registration details indicate what cars they are authorised to drive by vehicle license registration number. The driver's registration details also include the unique identifier of the Personal Communicator 227 used by the driver to gain authorised use of the vehicles that they are authorised to drive.

In the preferred embodiment of this invention the Personal Communicator is a mobile phone or a communications enabled PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and the phone number is used as the basis of recognition by the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer (SEiVC) 202 via Bluetooth wireless communications. In effect the mobile phone/PDA 227 is paired with the SEiVC 202 and is used to identify the driver.

A unique driver profile is maintained for each registered driver by the SSC 223.

This profile includes the basic registration details including mobile phone number, the cars they are authorised to drive, the criteria / algorithms by which a driver's performance is to be assessed (based on their insurance actuarial category and other factors) and the preferences of the driver for how their assessments are to be distributed, subject to any mandatory conditions imposed by External Organisations 229.

The system default is the transfer of a simple monthly PQ to the vehicle insurer and individual journey PQs to the driver's mobile phone or PDA. The driver's profile is downloaded via wireless communications to an authorised vehicle 201 at the time that a Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer 202 is fitted to the vehicle and it is commissioned via wireless communications by the SSC 223. In this embodiment of this invention the wireless network used for such communications between the vehicle and the SSC is based on GSM. All communications between the SEiVC 202 and the SSC 223 are encrypted. It will be appreciated that other forms of communication may be employed.

To gain authorised use of a vehicle the driver must have in their possession their registered mobile phone or PDA known to In-Vehicle Security System resident within the Secure Embedded in-Vehicle Computer 202. When the mobile phone 227 is in a switched on state in the near proximity (up to several meters) of the vehicle it can pair up with the Bluetooth module in the Secure Embedded in-Vehicle Computer 202. This enables the phone (i.e. vehicle driver) to be recognised and the In-Vehicle Security System changes from the SET Mode to the UNSET Mode giving the driver authorised use of the vehicle. Should the driver forget their mobile phone or forget to turn it on, the vehicle can still be driven but the In-Vehicle Security System remains in the Set Mode. In the event that the driver has not been identified, then after travelling a short distance in the SET Mode the vehicle issues an audio signal reminding the driver to switch on their phone in order to UNSET the In-Vehicle Security System. Failure to do this will cause the Secure Embedded in- Vehicle Computer 202 to send a wireless alert message to the SSC 223 for follow-up action that can include initiating tracking and/or contacting the owner of the vehicle. Driver performance assessments are performed only when the In-Vehicle Security System is in the UNSET mode.

Once in the UNSET mode the driver profile for the identified driver is retrieved from memory of the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer and the driver performance assessment application is launched. A running assessment for the current journey is performed in real time and saved in memory. This running

assessment for tiie current journey is also aggregated into the overall assessment of all journeys within a specified time period such as a week or month. This represents a running journey-to-date summary within the specified time period. During the current journey the running performance assessment for the journey can be sent via wireless communications to the driver's mobile phone or PDA for post- journey review.

This is a default setting in the driver profile which can be changed if not required by the driver. The driver profile also indicates what level of performance information is to be transferred from the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer 202 to the SSC 223. Based on this profile the SSC distributes the performance assessments to specified levels of detail to External Organisations 229 and a Coaching Web site 235.

Where drivers want to improve their performance or are required to do so by their insurer or a court appointed overseer, coaching assistance is available to them from a web site 235 using the driver's actual performance assessments. In cases where coaching is mandated reports of coaching sessions can be transferred from the web site 235 to the SSC 223 and distributed from there to the authorised external organisations 229.

This invention provides a secure method . apparatus and enabling processes to: (1) assess vehicle driving performance, (2) facilitate driver's understanding of their driving performance and (3) enhance such performance where needed or desired. As such it specifies an operating framework that provides Confidentiality, Integrity and Resilience

Confidentiality- Protecting data against copy and replay threats. This will be achieved using authentication procedures. Confidentiality is maintained where only authorised members can talk to each other.

Integrity is maintained through the use of procedures which ensure that data cannot be manipulated to change content and get system responses. Data check routines will be implemented.

Resilience: In the event of system outage/downtime, communication systems will be able to deal effectively with failure scenarios.

Figure 3 illustrates the main components of the in-car computer and its communication with the SSC (which is illustrated by reference 323 in figure 3).

In Figure 3, external regulatory organisations 329 transmit to the SSC 323 assessment rules/algorithms and reporting criteria to be applied to designated drivers and motor vehicles they are authorised to drive.

In one application of the system (at system commissioning with subsequent updates from time to time) a motor insurer transmits safety related assessment algorithms / rules related to defined actuarial classes or for specific designated drivers/vehicles. The mandated level of detail for reporting performance of a driver may be a function of the actuarial class of the driver/vehicle in combination with other factors such as past assessment ratings or current ratings deemed to be low in one or more categories of assessment.

In a second application, a court appointed agent can transmit court mandated requirements to the SSC 323 for performance assessment and reporting specific to a designated driver. Such a court mandated assessment may also include requirements for driver improvement training where the driver PQs low overall or in specified areas (such as following too close to the car in front).

In a third application a motor sport organisation can transmit performance assessment / reporting requirements related to specific driver / vehicle relating to a specific competitive event or class of events.

In a fourth application an organisation responsible for mentoring learner drivers transmits to the SSC 323 safety related assessment algorithms / rules and reporting requirements related to learner drivers or specific types of learner drivers (e.g. young drivers) and vehicles.

In each application the SSC 323 compiles assessment related information received from authorised external organisations into the driver profile that includes driver details on file with the SSC. These driver profiles are transmitted to the vehicle communications gateway 303 using encrypted wireless communications.

In Figure 3 the Applications Processor 305 contained in the Secure Embedded in- Vehicle Computer carries out the performance assessment during the operation of the motor vehicle. During the time when the vehicle is in a parked condition the Security System resident in the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer is in a SET Mode 318. Upon recognition of an authorised driver mobile device 327 via short range wireless communications the in vehicle security system is put into an UNSET Mode 319 and the driver performance assessment application is launched on the Application Processor 304 using the most current performance assessment criteria/algorithm extracted from the identified driver's profile in memory 307. If the vehicle is driven in a SET Mode 318 (i.e. the driver is not recognised and therefore not authorised), a security alert is issued and sent to the SSC 323 via the Communications Gateway 303. If the vehicle is driven more than a predetermined specified distance e.g. 50 metres in a SET mode i.e. a non recognised driver, the an alert will be issued. This allows the vehicle to be moved such as for valet parking or the like. As the driver assessment program has not been launched no driver performance assessments are made.

The potential exists for the theft or misappropriation of both the vehicle keys and the driver's mobile phone (or PDA) in which case if the phone is turned on upon entry into the vehicle the hi- Vehicle Security System 302 is put into an UNSET Mode 319 and the driver performance assessment application is launched by the Application Processor 304. In the case of theft the vehicle is likely to be driven some distance to

an area never visited by the authorised driver. The thief s destination could typically be a shipping dock or an industrial estate where the vehicle could be put in a container for shipment out of the country. The Performance Assessment Algorithm includes a Suspicious Journey Detector function that detects instances of trips (i.e. journeys) that are out of the usual pattern of journey's taken by the driver. This usual pattern is arrived at by statistical aggregation of the key characteristics of journeys taken by the driver over an extended period of time most typically measured in months. Such characteristics would include geographic attributes as well as basic performance attributes such as speed, braking and de-acceleration profiles on the types of road being travelled. In addition a-priori proscribed "red flag" geo-zones could be specified by the vehicle owner. The usual pattern of travel along with the red flag geo-zones/curfew times would be stored in memory 307 and loaded into the Application Processor 304 when the In- Vehicle Security System 302 is put in UNSET Mode 319. Upon recognising a journey that violated a red flag condition totally or that was out of character with the driver' s norm, the Suspicious Journey Detector would invoke a "tripwire" function that using audio or video means would request the driver to confirm that this trip was valid by entering a pin number or a phone number into his/her mobile phone or other input device in the vehicle. Failure to respond or respond correctly after several prompts would automatically send an alert to the Secure Service Centre 323 which would commence tracking the vehicle. Driver performance assessment would be terminated and all driver assessment data for this journey erased. The sensitivity of the Suspicious Journey Detector can be adjusted to minimise false driver alerts.

Figure 4 illustrates the communication between the components of an embodiment of the invention.

As shown in figure 4 the driver's mobile device 427 (for example a mobile phone or PDA) is Bluetooth enabled and communicates with the Secure Embedded in-Vehicle Computer 402 via the communications gateway 403.

Once the driver performance Assessment Algorithm 405 is launched on the Applications Processor 404 performance assessments are continuously made throughout the course of a journey along with related statistical and safety critical incident summaries. These assessments and summaries are stored in memory 407 for post-journey recall, processing and/or distribution. The driver may also elect to have performance data sent to his/her mobile phone or PDA 427 during the journey for later recall. Post-journey summaries can be used for comparative purposes as well as statistically aggregated with those of other journeys for any defined time period to show an overall performance for that period. This would cover all vehicles which the driver is authorised to operate in at that time period.

The apparatus and mechanisms used to monitor driver performance are non- intrusive and utilise primary data coming from the Vehicle Data Network 421, Ex- network sensors 422 and from External On-Road Services (typically traffic and navigation related information) 434 via wireless communications. The Vehicle Data Network also provides fault codes from which the electro-mechanical operating condition of the vehicle can be determined.

The environment in which the vehicle is operating is determined by direct inputs from such sources as traffic advisories/ roadside wireless messages 434 , vehicle location (via GPS) 420 and conditions inferred from data taken from the vehicle electronics (Vehicle Data Network 421, Ex-network sensors 422). Examples of such data used for environmental inference purposes would be:

Engine air intake temp Status of windscreen wipers

Status of headlamps and fog lamps Time of day

Road surface Coefficient of Friction. Barometric pressure Altitude

Roadside messages

The GPS navigation system 420 provides location, road information regarding location most notably speed limits, and direction of travel. From frequently sampled GPS latitude/longitude co-ordinates reliable increments of location change can be determined allowing, acceleration, de-acceleration (braking) to be computed as well as road speed.

From the vehicle data bus Vehicle Data Network 421 data can be extracted such as but not limited to:

Vehicle road speed Engine RPM

Vehicle diagnostic codes Status of vehicle safety systems

Anti-Lock Braking (ABS), measure when activated ESP, Electronic Stability Programs Traction Control (detects skidding)

Activation of suspension to assist with body roll control Airbag deployment

Activation of active cruise control system Fuel consumption Status of lights (headlight, turn signals, backup lights, parking lights, fog lamps etc.

Referring again to Figure 4, the SEiVC 402, is directly connected to the Vehicle Data Network 421 and is a recognised node on the network. The SEiVC is programmed to recognise codes on the Vehicle Data Network 421 that identify data required for driver assessment. Ex-network sensors 422 are directly wired to the SEiVC via electronics industry standard serial or parallel interfaces. The GPS navigation system_420 provides location coordinates (latitude longitude) to the Application Processor 404 and road side attributes including but not limited to speed limits to the Assessment Algorithm 405. External On-Road Services 434 provide data related to road conditions and traffic that are received by the Application Processor 404 via the Communications Gateway 403. The real time

kemel of the Applications Processor 404 screens and formats data on a continuous basis received from 420, 421, 422, and 434 for input to the assessment algorithm 405.

The manner in which the vehicle is being operated within the environment is thus determined by the driver performance, the electro-mechanical operating condition of the vehicle and environmental factors indicated above. This data allows the operating state of the vehicle to be known instant by instant.

Associated with each assessment algorithm will be defined levels of reporting as shown in Figure 5 A, 510. Each level up in the hierarchy of reporting levels represents a higher aggregation of detail. At the top of the hierarchy the aggregation culminates in a single driver Performance Quotient (PQ). The dissemination of reports by level of detail can be specified by the driver at the time of registration into an assessment scheme. These preferences for distribution are managed via the SSC and updated in the memory 507 of the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer, hi addition to driver preferences the external regulatory organisation responsible for running the assessment scheme may impose certain reporting conditions that vary according to the driver's assessment history. This external regulatory organisation could be a driver training school or a motor vehicle insurer. In the third application described above the external regulatory organisation would be delegated by the courts to impose reporting conditions on drivers with poor driving records. Finally, in the fourth application the external regulatory organisation would be responsible for organising and running competitive motoring events. These imposed conditions for reporting are managed via the SSC and updated in the memory 507 of the

Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer. In the context of this invention an external regulatory organisation is defined as any body that imposes some rules or conditions on the driver.

Using the driver preferences 508 and imposed conditions 509 the Report Disposition Scheduler 506 running on the Application Processor 504 selects which levels of detail are to be sent to authorised recipients (527, 531, 532, 533, 535). All

communication of such details other than to the driver's mobile phone or PDA 527 go via the SSC 523 (Figure 5B) that compiles reports and distributes them according to the agreed driver preferences and imposed conditions 508, 509. For the majority of drivers whose performance is considered to be adequate and above, the overall driver Performance Quotient (PQ) a single number, would normally be considered sufficient for an insurer to assess risk as the basis for determining the next monthly premium. The need for more detail comes about where driving performance is less than adequate or some form of supervision is mandated. Insurers may offer good drivers financial inducements to obtain more details of their performance beyond a simple PQ. Drivers who are given the option to have their driving performance details remain private have a means to do so. This invention thus provides a highly flexible and secure means of reporting driver performance mat gives drivers some choice as to what details of their performance are revealed and under what conditions.

Figures 6 A & 6B show one embodiment of driver performance reporting for illustrative purposes. Other embodiments can include a more graphical style of presentation. Specific details of formatting and style do not limit the claims made in this invention relating to a method, apparatus and enabling processes for selective and secure distribution of driver performance information processed by an on- vehicle computer for dissemination to external organisations on a "need to know" basis.

In Figure 6 A the apex 611 of the reporting triangle consists of a single number indicating the driver performance expressed as a Performance Quotient (PQ) for a predefined time period. This composite PQ is made up of PQs of individual journeys shown at Level 1 612 taken during this time period by the authorised driver. Level 2 shows the typical performance parameters 613 that are each assessed to arrive at an overall assessment (PQ) for a journey or a number of journey's taken by the authorised driver in a pre defined time period.

In Figure 6B Level 3 shows typical performance criteria by which an assessment is arrived at for various operating conditions of the vehicle. In the example for Motorway Speed 614 the time duration that the vehicle is operated in various speed ranges is recorded and updated by the Assessment Algorithm 405 (Figure 4) in real time. Each speed range has a weighting factor which represents its level of safety. Speed range weighting factors multiplied by time spent in a speed range allow speed PQs to be determined for each driving condition normal daytime, normal night-time, adverse daytime, adverse night-time. From this an average PQ can be determined for motorway travel across all driving conditions and speed ranges. This tabular logic used for arriving at PQs in this example is for illustrative purposes and does not limit the use of other methods.

The invention specifies two modalities for assessing driver performance, time based and frequency based. Time based refers to the amount of time the vehicle is in a given operating state, for example the amount of time spent in various speed band states as referred to in the example in 614. Frequency based refers to the number of occurrences of a defined event such as gear changes in a correct RPM band vs. gear changes in a too high RPM band or too low RPM band. Another example of the frequency based modality of assessment would be the number of occurrences of severe braking or severe acceleration. :

Figure 7 illustrates the example of a driver authorised to operate two or more vehicles, 701 A and 701 B. At Level 1 in the Hierarchy of Reporting Detail for each vehicle is a list of journeys taken by the authorised driver, the distance for each and a PQ for each. Connected to each journey are the Levels 2, 3 ...N performance details. These journey-specific assessments 711 -715JS are maintained for a predetermined time period in the memory 407 of the Secure Embedded in Vehicle Computer 402 (Figure 4). On a running basis over the course of this predetermined time period these journey-specific assessments are aggregated in a running cumulative summary 711-715 ALL. At the end of this pre -determined time period for each vehicle operated by the authorised driver the cumulative summary for that period as well as journey-specific assessments (as required) is passed to the

Disposition Scheduler. The importance of each individual journey in these cumulative summaries is weighted according to distance travelled. At the end of the pre-determined time period the Report Disposition Scheduler 706 for each vehicle authorised to be operated by the driver schedules the transfer of cumulative aggregated summaries to the Secure Service Centre (SSC) 723 where a cumulative aggregate performance assessment summary is made covering all vehicles operated by the authorised driver. These aggregate performance summaries are distributed to authorised external regulatory organisations 729 and the Driver Coaching Web Site 735 in line with driver preferences and imposed conditions.

" Where the driver indicates a preference for having a running performance assessment throughout a journey the Report Dispositions Scheduler 706 will direct this information to be streamed through to the driver's mobile phone or PDA on a real time basis. The mobile phone or PDA can provide audio alerts to the driver where performance is below accepted norms. Visual display can also provided showing a simple colour coded output (red, amber green) of driving performance. Software on the mobile phone or PDA can be used to perform aggregate summaries of journeys taken during a specified time period. In post-journey settings the driver can review these aggregate summaries including the composite driver PQ. The mobile phone or PDA can present PQs and summaries by each vehicle operated by the driver during the defined time period and summarised as an aggregate for all vehicles.

Figure 8 shows the uploading of driver performance assessment data to a Driver Coaching Web site 835. One preference for authorised drivers is to have summaries in the Secure Embedded in- Vehicle Computer 802 uploaded to the Secure Service Centre 823 for forwarding to the Driver Coaching Web Site 835. Another choice available to authorised drivers is to upload their driver performance assessment data directly from their mobile phone or PDA 827 to the Driver Coaching Web Site 835. A third choice for authorised drivers is to upload their driver performance assessment data to a Personal Computer 828 for later uploading to the Driver

Coaching Web Site 835. Assessment data uploaded to the Driver Coaching Web Site 835 is stored in a password protected Driver Assessment Data Archive 837.

The mobile phone or PDA can be used to by the authorised driver as a quick and handy way of doing a review of driving performance (Level 1). At the most simplistic level this entails looking over PQs or their equivalent expressed in terms the driver can more readily relate to emotionally such as Intelligence Quotients, familiar games or sports. To do a more detailed review of problem areas (Level 2) the authorised driver can upload the driver performance assessment data currently stored on the mobile phone or PDA 827 to a Personal Computer 828 having analysis software downloaded from the Driver Coaching Web Site 835. Using the Personal Computer 828 with an Internet connection, the authorised driver can access the Driver Coaching Web Site 835 for coaching assistance regarding any aspect of performance deemed to require improvement either by the driver or an external regulatory organisation i.e. insurer, mentor etc. Two types of coaching / instruction assistance are available on the Driver Coaching Web Site 835. At Level 3 routine coaching / instruction is provided by a Virtual Coach 838 implemented as software that has access to the driver performance history stored in the Driver Assessment Data Archive 837. The Virtual Coach can invoke "What If Gaming 839 in order to enrich the coaching session. Coaching will be designed to allow the student to discover the right answer rather than just provide rote responses to student inputs. This can involve using of video images to prompt the student and reinforce key safety messages. The key feature is that these video prompts are directly related to a problem area revealed by the driving performance data of the driver. For expert level coaching, Level 4, human coaches 840 can interact with students in live chat room type sessions using the student's performance data in the Driver Assessment Data Archive 837.