RAC recovery could locate and diagnose broken down vehicles via telematics black boxes
An extra four million cars could be fitted with black box insurance units due to a new joint venture partnership between the RAC and Quindell, which owns the telematics brand Ingenie.
The RAC will be offering new black box units to its 2.5 million members as part of the new agreement, which Ingenie says is the largest of its kind in history. It will also mark the first time black box units will be available for drivers over 25.
Traditionally, black box telematics units have only been offered to young drivers as a way of lowering insurance premiums. Ingenie says that the average starting policy of £3100 for young drivers can be cut down to around £1700 if the driver agrees to fitting a black box in their car.
The boxes – which can either be fixed to a car's on-board diagnostics port or downloaded via a new app – monitor location, speed and acceleration data to give motorists a 'driving score'.
As well as gathering information, the unit will also help the RAC to locate broken-down vehicles, it can also potentially being diagnose problems remotely. The new joint venture will also see the creation of a new business, dubbed Connected Car Solutions, with an initial investment of £30 million.
Ingenie expects the new agreement to lead a surge in telematics policy sales, doubling the current number of units sold by 2015. RAC chief executive Chris Woodhouse said the deal would bring "substantial benefits" to its members.
The new RAC-branded telematics product and associated app will be available from July. The technology will also be rolled out across Europe and Canada in the future.