Telematics isn't about spying but transparency, added value and safer roads
Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, provider of telematics-based insurance products for young people, comments on the EU ruling that telematics (black box technology) will be fitted in all new cars. He believes that, used properly, telematics delivers transparency and added value to insurance policies and makes our roads safer.
"I don't want to be monitored all the time but the sad truth is that it's already happening, from using GPS and accessing the internet from our mobile phones to cameras watching our various journeys - much of our daily activity is being monitored in some way. Still, the news that under EU law, coming into force in October 2015, all new cars must be fitted with black box technology, has caused some concern about 'spying'.
"Much of this reaction is down to the public's negative view of big corporations, particularly within the financial industry. The recent and well publicised issues with banks and companies like Google, which have been clandestine about what information they gather and what it's being used for, has spurred on an inherent distrust in how data is being used by big companies.
"But rather than a 'spying device', black box technology can actually be a powerful tool in making the insurance industry more honest, fair and transparent in its policies. We know that people who drive on motorways are much less likely to have accidents than those on country roads and can price accordingly. Similarly, why should frequent drivers pay the same as those driving once every fortnight?
"Telematics used properly is already driving down costs and helping young people get on the road, giving them the freedom that driving allows whilst keeping them safe. It also helps these inexperienced drivers get more time on the roads, helping them to build their skills and improve safety without paying over inflated policies for the pleasure. And they see the benefits. 78% of Marmalade's young drivers are happy to have their driving monitored and every parent I have ever spoken to is really happy to know that their son or daughter will be encouraged to drive more safely.
"The whole industry is moving very quickly and although telematics is the big news story today, the future is automated or driverless cars that will use enormous amounts of data to be able to drive with minimal human input. Now that is scary!"