Fleet Management in the Age of Always-On Data

The Challenge

New possibilities stressing the core business.

The Hartford’s entry into usage-based insurance was stuck in the lab. They had the ability to provide real-time driver feedback using in-cab telematics. However, variable-premium insurance could erode their core fixed-premium business. They needed to discover a strong first use case, determine the best business model, and establish clear boundaries from their core book of business.

PX Venture Studio worked with the The Hartford to get traction for their first-ever IoT solution.

  • Defined the initial feature set and the product roadmap
  • Designed and executed rapid in-market experiments to clarify (and improve) the business model
  • Aligned a key telematics partner on favorable terms
  • Launched the business, getting the first three customers on board
  • The platform grew to a $200M business by the end of Year 3
Project Overview


The Hartford

Project Type

Corporate Venture Building



Project Attributes


Key Milestones

  • Customer co-creation
  • Revenue model experiments
  • Live MVP trial, 3 fleets
  • Digital customer acquisition

Created safe distance from the core business

Identified an under-served early adopter

Created a simple, win-win business model

Established their first-ever IoT platform

The Impact

Fleet Ahead: A profitable, extensible  beachhead for usage-based insurance.

Through a series of incremental investment sprints, what had felt like an existential threat became a growth platform for The Hartford. The Fleet Ahead solution expanded from three fleets to over thirty fleets and exceeded $200M in revenues by the end of commercial Year 3. It pioneered the use of digital lead generation at The Hartford, and it paved the way for other usage-based insurance offerings based on IoT sensors and data. In addition, this project established belief in the role of venture-building as a viable growth strategy.

“At first I didn’t think (going to) three fleet customers would tell us much. But the rigor your team used to design the live market trial was superb. As a result, the insights from those three fleets really stood the test of time. This project established the reputation of internal corporate ventures.”

SVP, The Hartford Corporate Ventures
How we did it

We functioned as venture founders, working outside the core business until Fleet Ahead was getting traction with net new accounts.

Customer resonance testing

A key first step was to get into the market with prospective customers and see how Fleet Ahead would resonate. Simple visuals work the best; by under-specifying the solution, the prospects had plenty of room to tell us how it would need to work for them. They were designing exactly what they would want, with our simple visual as their canvas.

Co-creating the features

Once we validated the concept, we got into greater detail. Our target users got hands-on with card-sort prototypes, designing features that would fit their fleet operations and systems requirements.

Aligning the telematics partner

The relationship between The Hartford and GreenRoad was key to the success of Fleet Ahead. PX has field-tested methods for defining control points and setting APIs that will protect those control points. These are especially important for B2B SaaS and IoT solutions.

Validating the revenue model

We discovered that the CFO would often derail the sales process, coming in late and raising new objections. By creating the benefits calculator shown here, the venture was able to engage the CFO early and turn them into a champion.

Live alpha tests (I & II)

The live validation trials began with a “safe” trial with a school bus fleet. That was followed by a full commercial trial with three private fleets. Both hit their success goals.

Digital customer acquisition

Once we were ready to scale, the best source of qualified leads was digital marketing. Happily, this channel was also the most affordable. Here’s an example of a core story that led to dozens of qualified leads.