Congratulations to our three winners of the 2020 Canada’s Safest Driver Contest from Ottawa, ON, Victoria B.C., and Nanoose Bay, B.C.

First-prize winner Julian Piccioli

Julian Piccioli of Ottawa, ON has won the grand prize of $10,000 in the Canada’s Safest Driver contest for achieving the highest overall score in the contest, which ran from October 1 to November. 26, 2020.

Julian also won a $500 prize for the driver who scores highest on the “smooth braking” criteria, as measured from November 12 to November 26 and the $500 Early Bird Prize for highest overall score in the contest’s first two weeks.

Julian found out about the contest as a subscriber to Parachute’s newsletter, Open Your Parachute.

Listen to our Grand Prize Winner Julian Piccioli give his advice on how to be a safer driver by staying focused and anticipating what may happen on the roads.

David Wakulich of Victoria B.C. won the second prize of $5,000 for second-highest overall score.

Second-place winner David Wakulich encouraged his friends to also join the contest, who report they had to change many of their driving habits to get good contest scores.

Finally, Timothy Schewe from Nanoose Bay, B.C. won the third prize of $2,000

Third-place winner Timothy Schewe signed up for the contest after seeing a post about it on Twitter and says using the app helped him to be consistently aware of his driving behaviour.

Canadian residents with a valid driver’s licence were eligible to participate in this skills-based contest run by Parachute and sponsored by Desjardins, which offered a grand prize of $10,000 and several other smaller prizes to those who scored the highest number of points for safe driving behaviours. Contestants had to be of age of majority in their province or territory.

Screenshot of Canada's Safest Driver app

How it worked

The Canada’s Safest Driver app was available to download for free. Once it was on your phone and you activated it, the app measured your driving skills when you were in your vehicle. Most people want to be safe drivers, but often cars and roads are full of distractions that lead to unsafe behaviours.

The app, built by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, accurately measures driving quality with smartphone and IoT sensors such as GPS, and provides behavioural feedback. Contestants were able to check in regularly with your progress and learn where and how you can improve your safe driving techniques.

Canada’s Safest Driver recorded:

  • Location, speed, and heading
  • Accelerometer data
  • Gyroscope data
  • Magnetometer data
  • Barometer data
  • Time

What skills got measured

"right speed badge" - a maple leaf styled with orange-and-white checkerboard.
The “right speed” badge
No texting badge - orange maple leaf with white outline of mobile phone imposed
The “no texting” badge
  • Speed: are you obeying the speed limits on your trip?
  • Braking: are you screeching to a halt or braking safely in advance of your stop?
  • Acceleration: do you “gun it” or accelerate at a steady pace?
  • Cornering: are you taking your turn smoothly or cutting around at a dangerous angle?
  • Phone distraction: don’t touch that phone when you’re driving! When the car is moving, if your screen unlocked and on and the app determines that the phone is being handled, your score will be negatively affected.

The prizes

  • $10,000 grand prize for best overall score during the Grand Prize period of the contest, October 15 to November 26, 2020. Winner: Julian Piccioli, Ottawa, ON.
  • $5,000 second-place prize for overall score during the Grand Prize period, October 15 to November 26, 2020. Winner: David Wakulich, Victoria B.C.
  • $2,000 third-place prize for overall score during the Grand Prize period, October 15 to November 26, 2020. Winner: Timothy Schewe, Nanoose Bay, B.C.
  • $500 “Early Bird” prize for the best score in the first 10 days of the contest, from October 1 to October 15. Winner: Julian Piccioli, Ottawa, ON.
  • $500 prize for “Least Distracted Driver”, as measured from October 15 to October 29. Winner: Taylor Andreschefski, Calgary AB.
  • $500 prize for driver who best obeys speed limits, as measured from October 29 to November 12. Winner: Taylor Andreschefski, Calgary AB.
  • $500 prize for driver who scores highest on the “smooth braking” criteria, as measured from November 12 to November 26: Winner: Julian Piccioli, Ottawa, ON.

In addition, all participants could win game badges when they achieve increasingly higher scores in the five measurement areas, plus overall score: You can be a “Caring Canuck”, get “Km/h Kudos” and win the ultimate accolade: “Vision Zero, eh?”

Information that was on the app


The top showed your overall score computed over the last two weeks of driving. Tapping on the score showed information about how your score was calculated. The rest of the dashboard had four panels:

  • the latest scored trip
  • your achievements
  • your rank on the leaderboard
  • how well you have done in avoiding phone distraction


Showed a list of all your trips. Each trip was scored on a scale from 1 to 5. Selecting a particular trip took you to a map view of the trip and summarizes important events and scores for the trip. Only the most significant events from a drive were shown on the map. The map also showed any excessive speeding and significant phone distraction.

The app also classified your trip as “Driver” or “Not driving” (passenger or another mode of transport). If the automatic classification was incorrect, you could change it by selecting the icon located next to the mode classified by the app. By keeping your transport modes accurate, the app learned your driving habits and classified future trips more accurately.

Driving tips

The app showed personalized tips to improve your driving; these tips depend on the factors that are most responsible for lowering your score.

How the app collected data

Canada’s Safest Driver worked in the background and collected data any time a drive was detected. However, devices needed to be charged and turned on during trips.When the phone’s battery is less than 10 per cent, or is turned off, the app did not record any data. The app can collect data without wi-fi but only transmitted the data to be included in measurements when the driver was connected to the internet.

The data – What was collected, for what purpose and how it is kept safe.

Canada’s Safest Driver gathered smartphone data from position and inertial sensors and measures driving quality. All the information of entrants collected in the App at the time of or after registration, all data produced during the contest, all anonymous aggregate data and other information collected or produced by or in the App is owned by Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT).  

  • Only collects and maintains the minimum amount of data necessary to provide the services CMT offers to this contest
  • Doesn’t sell any customer information
  • Doesn’t share customer information with third parties unless required by law
  • Only shares information to the Contest Administrators required to notify prize winners (i.e. user name and email address provided)
  • Maintains physical, procedural and technological controls to protect customer information and to comply with international privacy laws and regulations.

See more details in the Canada’s Safest Driver contest rules.

Canada’s Safest Driver is an initiative to support Vision Zero road safety strategies in Canada.