Vehicle insurance (also known as car insurance, motor insurance or auto insurance) is insurance for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide financial protection against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise from incidents in a vehicle. Vehicle insurance may additionally offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle, and against damage to the vehicle sustained from events other than traffic collisions, such as keying, weather or natural disasters, and damage sustained by colliding with stationary objects. The specific terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations in each region.

A Motor Trade Insurance policy is also referred to as Road Risk Insurance. It is taken out by someone who runs a business involving anything to do with cars, motorbikes and vans such as buying and selling cars, repairing and servicing, valeting, running a garage or MOT centre etc. It is excellent for running a business. You can compare trade in policies whenever you’d like to.

In many jurisdictions it is compulsory to have vehicle insurance before using or keeping a motor vehicle on public roads. Most jurisdictions relate insurance to both the car and the driver; however, the degree of each varies greatly.

Several jurisdictions have experimented with a “pay-as-you-drive” insurance plan which utilizes either a tracking device in the vehicle or vehicle diagnostics. This would address issues of uninsured motorists by providing additional options and also charge based on the miles (kilometers) driven, which could theoretically increase the efficiency of the insurance, through streamlined collection.

An Idea

A project called “Confusion”, consisting of a tiny hardware device (like an Arduino or ATtiny chip), a vibrating motor, and a battery.  Stuck to the bottom of tables with a small bit of sticky tape, the device will mimic cellphone call/text vibration patterns at random times.  An alternative, more expensive version would use a small speaker to randomly play the iPhone “marimba” ringtone.

Random “Pi Walk”

While John Venn is best-known for the Venn Diagram, Alex Bellos mentions Venn’s other invention in his quite-good book “Here’s Looking at Euclid” (page 231).  Venn was the first to create a “random walk” or “drunk walk”.  Using the decimal expansion of pi, each digit is seen as a cardinal direction.  I’ve updated Venn’s experiment slightly (his ignored the numbers 8 and 9) – each number from 0-9 rotates the direction of movement by a factor of 36º and takes a step 20 pixels forward.

The above image is the first 1120 decimal places of pi, starting at the gray dot.  Created using Processing.

Kolmogorov Complexity

Once again: James Gleick describes the “Kolmogorov complexity” of an object as “the size, in bits, of the shortest algorithm needed to generate it”.  In other words, a measure of how much information is stored.

Gleick outlines, in quite a bit of detail, that the amount of difference (surprise) in something is equal to the amount of information it holds, be it a number or a sentence or a thing.  The number 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 has little information even though it is very large, since the zeroes are predictable, whereas the number 14,957 has little discernible pattern and therefore holds more information.  Similarly, a string of letters like “pile” has less information, since we can guess there might be an “e” at the end.

More interestingly, Gleick explains that Kolmogorov also saw this as a measure of randomness, that the more information something contained, the more random it was, and vice-versa.

Via: “The Information”, pg 337.