British roadside recovery firm RAC has announced a deal with Telematics makers Ingenie, with plans to offer RAC customers a little ‘black box’ for their car, so that RAC drivers can find them faster in the event of a breakdown and possibly diagnose problems remotely. As a knock on effect, the addition of a tracking device to a customer’s car, could see their insurance premiums reduced too.
Traditionally the engine diagnostics and tracking device has only been offered to young drivers to help bring down their insurance premiums. With even low-powered cars seeing insurers charge first time drivers multiple thousands of pounds for their first year, the big drop in premium cost has made the devices popular. However now thanks to this partnership, over two million more customers will be offered the ‘black box.’ They monitor location, speed, acceleration and can be tapped into the car’s diagnostics to offer further information to the insurer and now the RAC.
Of course the boxes won’t be given out for free, they’ll be offered by the RAC as part of a new package through an entirely new company set up by the pair, known as Connected Car Solutions Limited. It will bundle not only RAC break down cover, but an entirely new insurance product designed to target more than just young drivers.
Along with the new RAC branded box, the Ingenie app will be updated too: “We’ve always delivered great information and feedback on driving to improve driving behaviour via the ingenie app,” said Ingenie CEO, Richard King.
“But our next generation app will feature additional benefits such as more detailed driving feedback and scores, location based services and the ability to connect and compare driving with friends and family.”
These moves lead Ingenie to believe it can more than double the telematics market by 2015, making it a huge growth sector and one that its new company is poised to dominate.
Of course not every RAC customer is likely to take it up on the offer, as they may be concerned about privacy, data storage or tracking – things that the US and British governments haven’t done a great job of making people feel comfortable with as of late. However it seems likely that the economic benefits of telematics are a hard one to ignore. When you can save as much as the insurers are saying, even when you’re an older, experienced driver, it’s going to be a tough one to turn down.
If you’re an RAC customer, expect to be offered the new package in the coming weeks. The full new Ingenie app rollout and the official launch of the new black box scheme, is set to begin in July this year.