Only three per cent of UK drivers have telematics

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Despite all of our efforts here to spread the word that Telematics can be an incredibly useful piece of kit, it turns out that not many Britains have followed our advice. In-fact, at the last count just three per cent of all British drivers had some form of telematics tracking fitted in their vehicles, be that bespoke hardware or a smartphone application.

This information comes from a new study by price comparison search firm, Uswitch, which quizzed a number of drivers on their driving habits, whether they have telematics and if not, why not. The main argument against getting the technology in their cars was because they didn’t want the government or a corporation knowing where they are at all times. At the count, a full 26 per cent of those asked said they didn’t like the big brother feeling it involved.

Others felt that those same companies and entities may misuse their data and sell it on to third parties, which may be something that a few do, but it can always be checked in the small print of the terms and conditions.

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What is interesting to note however, is that a good number of those people that didn’t like the idea of telematics, could be swayed if there was a sizeable enough saving to be made. How much? The average was £98. If more insurers offered discounts to the tune of £100, more people would take out telematic policies.

“Despite telematics being nearly ten years old, drivers are still in the dark about ‘black box’ insurance – confused about the technology and the full benefits it can offer,” said Uswitch’s Rod Jones (via ActuaarialPost).

“Concerns around personal data are a major barrier to telematics adoption – in particular, how the data will be used and by whom. It’s vital that the Government and the insurance industry addresses these concerns if this technology is going to take off.”

However, putting aside the negative nellies of the bunch, around 45 per cent of those asked by the survey said they would consider adding telematics to their cars, with 33 per cent of that group saying it would be interesting to learn more about their driving habits, while 23 per cent thought it might help them become better drivers. Five per cent added an interesting take on the technology, by saying that they’d like it so that they could see how other people drove their car when borrowing it. Indeed, parents using the tracking hardware to keep an eye on teens using the family car has been a popular use for it.

Image source: Wikimedia, MBWA PR

 

 

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.