Drive carefully and save on your insurance premiums: this is possible thanks to a telematics box, also known as a 'black box', which sits in the car and monitors driving behaviour. The 'Pay as you drive' principle was first introduced in Germany by a motor vehicle insurer in 2014. However, good and safe drivers in the UK have been benefiting from it for years. BIG Telematics, based in Epsom, UK, has integrated PTV xMapmatch Server into its telematics solution for car insurers, which has been provided by its technology partner PTV Group, based in Karlsruhe, Germany.
The UK was among the early adopters of telematics products for the insurance market, alongside the USA and Italy. Originally directed at high-risk groups like learners and inexperienced drivers, the chance to potentially save money with a black box has also proven attractive to other insured drivers.
"Insurance premiums that are tailored to your personal driving style go down really well in the UK, maybe because there's less variation in the rates offered by vehicle insurers compared to Germany", says James De Roo, Business Development Manager Logistics at the PTV Group. The smart telematics boxes measure driving behaviour and give the driver feedback by sending driving statistics to their mobile phone. It collects data on location, driving time, acceleration and braking and turning behaviour, but will also send an emergency call in the event of an accident. Some of these devices also offer a free service that will track the vehicle if it gets stolen.
BIG Telematics is a specialist provider of telematics service technologies for the motor insurance sector. The company has not just designed the software platform to collect and process telematics data from the black boxes: it also installs the devices in vehicles and analyses and distributes the data collected to the relevant insurers. Telematics is used by Insurance companies to incentivise safe driving, offering motorists lower renewal premiums and sometimes refunds if they drive safely. BIG Telematics partner Insurethebox, with its 2bn miles of data collected so far, shows that these incentives have reduced accidents among young drivers by 30%.
For route tracking and analyses based on actual speeds driven on roads compared to speed limits, BIG Telematics uses the PTV xMapmatch solution. It validates and corrects a set of received GPS coordinates (tracks) using the underlying street maps. The actually driven routes are returned in a format relevant to the digital map. It provides a road category (network class) for every matched segment and the permitted speed limit wherever available. In addition the PTV xMapmatch Server provides a summary of the route. This contains the total distance and duration as well as a corresponding segment list of the matched route. When checking and correcting, map conditions are included such as tunnels, one-way streets, etc. Plausibility checks for the reconstruction of routes (history) and the analysis of junction and turn-off situations (crawler) ensure reliable results
"With our products, we want to offer our customers reliable, high-performing tools and services. In doing this, the precision and high performance standards of PTV xMapmatch solution make it a vital component in our telematics solution", says Andrea Natali, Partner Operations at BIG Telematics.