In-Vehicle Monitoring Equipment (Telematics)
Until recently, in-vehicle monitoring equipment required a telematics device, sometimes called a black box to be retrofitted in vehicles, which was expensive due to the cost of the physical device and fitting it into the vehicle, however costs were often off-set with local vehicle insurance premiums, and was also seen as way for large transport companies to be able to get insurance that covered young drivers, or higher risk drivers, because of past offences, age or health conditions, and controlling who to blame culture.
Recently we have seen Smartphone App developments, which monitoring technology is provided as an app on a smartphone , which also helped to reduce cost because it does not require a physical device to be installed in a vehicle. As well as delivering the telematics software, apps can also deliver the feedback about the driving recorded by the software.
However, delivering the telematics function with an app requires the phone to be switched on while the vehicle is being driven, which may tempt some drivers to use it for other purposes while driving. The risk can be mitigated by making it clear to the driver that they should not use the phone while driving and making sure they understand that the monitoring technology will detect if they do so, and report this to the insurer. A driver may choose not to take the phone with them on journeys where they feel their driving may be a lower standard than normal, or to switch it on when they are being carried as a passenger in a vehicle driving by someone else, so the app would record the other person’s driving.