Iris joins fray for connected car project

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  • Friday, 09 Mar 2018

PETALING JAYA: Iris Corp Bhd, which has seen the entry of new shareholders, has joined the bidding for the mandate to undertake a government road tax and insurance initiative for the launch of a connected cars project.
While this connected car project will initially focus on usage-based insurance, it will subsequently involve usage-based road tax.
There is no figure to the contract amount. However, the company that gets the mandate will have access to a trove of data on Malaysian drivers and vehicles.
“The golden goose for this project is in the data - the Malaysian drivers data. The company will gradually build up data of all drivers who use their services,” said the source. 

Currently, MyEG Services Bhd more or less holds the monopoly for road tax and driver’s licences renewals. 
While its primary business activities are the development and implementation of e-government services, it also diversified into commercial solutions some three years ago. MyEG’s commercial segment now contributes to 70% of group activities. 
However, the connected cars project will generally offer lower rates for road tax and insurance.
“Vehicles will be charged based on the usage. At the moment, it is a flat rate,” said a source.
The backbone of the connected cars project is the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. In the IoT, machines connect with each other to process data.
Towards this end, Green Packet last year took a 32% stake in G3 Global Bhd, the company formerly known as Yen Global Bhd which is involved in the IoT. 
G3’s wholly owned subsidiary Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd was previously in collaboration with Axiata Group Bhd for a connected car solutions project in 2016.
Iris’ interest is also not surprising. The company’s new shareholders are Datuk Rozabil Abdul Rahman and Datuk Paul Poh who together with Felda Investment Corp hold a majority stake.
Previously, Iris was known as the company that provided the chips imbedded in all Malaysian passports. It was a feature then that prevented forgery and fraud. Iris exported the technology to several third world countries.
However, its dominance in that segment faded with the emergence of companies like Datasonic Group Bhd and Prestariang Bhd.
Meanwhile on the connected car contract, a dongle will need to be placed inside each car, where the driver’s behavioural analytics will be tracked. 
Through this, motor insurance companies will be able to drastically reduce claims loss and gather data. Users will pay their insurance premiums or road tax based on how they use their cars. 
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