Jun 022016

Black Box TechnologyNearly seven in 10 drivers don’t trust ‘black box’ technology to lower their insurance premiums by proving they are a better driver, according to research by Whatcar.com.

Telematics-based insurance policies monitor driving standards by accessing the data produced by a car either by fitting an electronic device inside the car or via a smartphone app. The policies are increasingly being aimed at young, new drivers, with insurance firms rewarding good driving with policy discounts.

However, while improving road safety is the main aim of the new policies, Whatcar.com’s study found the only reason the vast majority of drivers (89%) would use telematics insurance is to save cash, while fewer than two in five (39%) would choose to use it at all.

As well as fearing the ‘Big Brother’ element of having their driving constantly monitored, 67% of motorists said they wouldn’t trust a telematics device to prove they were a good driver.

Paul O’Dowd, head of sales for telematics provider In-Car Cleverness, said mistrust in telematics-based insurance policies may be justified because insurance companies predominantly use hard-wired telematics systems that rely solely on GPS-based data, as opposed to on-board diagnostics (OBD) systems which take data directly from the car.

The scoring systems used also don’t take into account advanced driving methods, as well as other pertinent factors like weather and road conditions, meaning the results can be inaccurate.

He said: “The GPS-based systems that many insurance companies currently use are flawed. The scoring mechanisms do not take into account scenarios that keep a driver safe in the event of a near miss, or advanced driving methods. If all insurers used OBD telematics devices, which capture data readings directly from the vehicle, false data would be significantly reduced.”

Whatcar.com’s editorial director, Jim Holder, said: “Black boxes do encourage safer driving up to a point, but it is also fair to say that it’s often the safest young drivers who choose to have telematics in their car – they would be safe drivers anyway.

“And, while it works to save money for some drivers, it’s important to remember that premiums can go up as well as down based on feedback from the telematics.”

  3 Responses to “Motorists don’t trust ‘black box’ tech”

  1. I use telematics everyday at work and have a score of 9.8 out of 10 and used this score on Aviva’s app and get this my insurance was £85 more expensive…….. I dont loke working inder these conditions and can honestly say that if I went for another job driving …… if trackers and telemarics were involved I would say NO to the job.
    Employers have no TRUST in employee’s now .

  2. It is absolutely rubbish this Black box, especially a driver who has over 24 years of experience, and has to be monitored infact from my experience it can Leeds or cause accident because the driver new he was constantly being monitored, I now feel like a new driver who is being watched by either an instructor or an examiner, now fearing not to fail my driving test. Infact I often prefer to take a bus than drive my car. So as a matter of fact am just paying the premium for keeping my car safe from getting a 6penalty point and an unwanted fine

  3. I was given a ”high speed” driving course way back in the ’60’s by the RAF [using FOUR TON BEDFORD Q L’s and ”call-out coaches” with very big petrol engines run on AVGAS. [ It was quite a thing running up the A1[M] at a ton in a call-out coach to the Missile bases with a blue and two on and even the Big Bad Beds did 80+ but OMG the MPG] and later in the Reserve Forces using FOUR TON BEDFORDS. One of the things we were taught was to ”straighten the road” if safe to do so and anticipate a line through corners when ”sighted” to do so. We were also taught to see the hedge line ahead and scan ahead up to the limit of vision. When training we had to keep up a commentary. I suspect that the practices I was taught would not show up as positive on these recorders even though thelast accident I had that involved another vehicle was well over 25 years ago except for a couple or so slight ”car-park’ incidents. As you might guess I have been speed flashed a couple of times!! So be it!!

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