Most drivers try to do everything they can to protect themselves and their vehicle – with breakdown assistance, warranties and GAP insurance all helping with peace of mind.
Another way drivers are able to ensure they are being safe behind the wheel is “Black Box” technology. This is currently used as an alternative to standard car insurance and can benefit drivers by rewarding them with cheaper insurance for safe driving. With brand new cars all being built with on-board diagnostic computers, this in depth information about the car and the way it is being driven can be utilised in various ways. A new breed of software apps are going to enable drivers to access this information more directly.
The RAC will soon be offering Advance, a technology which monitors information on the vehicle’s speed, fuel, efficiency, lights, braking, airbags and more – and provides feedback to the driver. It also connects directly to the internet, relaying important information on to their breakdown technicians to allow for mechanical diagnoses to be completed in advance of a technician actually attending the scene.
They even suggest that if you’ve left your lights on , this would raise an alert on their system allowing them to send you a text or email to let you know
An American alternative, Automatic, offers the same information – but this time delivered straight to a dedicated Smartphone App. They can also give drivers a score out of 100 for fuel efficiency, an ever increasing cost concerning drivers today with the RAC suggesting drivers could save up to £620 per year on fuel costs as a result of the information the Advance system provides.
Both versions also have an “emergency call” facility which, if sudden braking and airbag deployment are detected, will result in the emergency services being contacted automatically by the car’s computer .
Whilst neither is currently available to private drivers in the UK, this technology is available now but at a premium and generally only to company fleet vehicles. The Association of British Insurers has predicted that 60% of vehicles in the UK will be directly connected to the internet by 2017, with this type of technology heading towards becoming the norm.
The RAC and Automatic founders aim to improve on that which is already offered by reducing the cost and simplifying the technology with a sim-card like device simple enough for drivers to install themselves.
Let us know what you think about this innovative new technology for drivers – would you be interested in having your car constantly monitored? Tell us via Facebook, Twitter or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org