In Car Black Boxes

Car insurance premiums fall sharplyIn-car black boxes can already monitor your driving habits, but telematics systems could soon start hanging up your phone and turning down your radio, as use of this technology becomes more widespread – and more invasive.

Experts have predicted that every British driver could be monitored by their insurer's spying technology over the next 10 years, reports the Telegraph. Drivers who refuse to have black boxes fitted to their cars could see increased insurance premiums or be refused cover completely.

Many younger drivers are already forced into using black box systems, as premiums rocket if they refuse to have kit fitted to their car to monitor their speed and driving habits. Over 300,000 cars have already been fitted with such devices, which can keep track of drivers' speed, braking, steering inputs and the mileage they cover.

The extent of monitoring technology could even extend to intelligent windscreen wipers to keep tabs on the weather, as insurers try to gather ever more information on the conditions that lead up to a crash. With the development of new technologies, experts are predicting that the number of ways drivers are watched, could increase.

New technology could allow insurers to spy on drivers' mobile phone use and monitor if they send any texts while driving. A spokesperson from price comparison told the Telegraph: "The technology can track literally anything that is in the car – it just depends on what data the insurer wants to analyse. The number of text messages a driver sends while behind the wheel can be monitored, which insurers could use against a driver who frequently texts."

Distraction is one of the main causes of car crashes, and several insurers are believed to be considering developing black boxes which can monitor the sound levels of all devices within the car. A researcher at Thatcham, an insurance research centre has stated that black boxes could potentially disconnect in-car phone calls and turn off sound systems over certain speeds.

Devices which can silence the driver's phone or limit the volume of the radio have already been developed, while others already keep check of the times when the car is used.

Would you use a telematics system that monitored your every move in return for vastly reduced insurance rates? What do you think?


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