‘Smart’ devices that constantly monitor driving habits are being launched by an international partnership involving JT.
The devices combine GPS tracking, ‘black box’-style data recording about acceleration and cornering, and a SIM card to communicate through the mobile phone network. They mean that insurance companies will be able to track exactly where, when and how a car is being driven, leading to a significant reduction in insurance premiums, and potentially reduce the number of accidents.
JT’s involvement comes from its extensive range of roaming partners around the world. Because the company is independent, it can sign deals giving it a network of agreements with all the major carriers.
Paul Bullock, Head of M2M at JT, said that the service was a good example of how JT was doing more and more business overseas, and so bringing investment back to the Island.
He said: ‘It has been estimated that over the next five years, 70% of cars in the UK could have these devices installed.
‘We hope that we can play a big part in that through our network of roaming agreements, and all of this will be managed in the Channel Islands, bringing money back to JT, which of course is ultimately owned by the Jersey taxpayer.
‘Most importantly, this technology could have significant safety implications, not just for traffic management, and “black box technology” for use in court, but also because parents could get reports on how their children are driving. The collective data will also be of enormous use to car manufacturers in terms of monitoring car performance and flagging up issues that can be alerted directly to the owners.’
The technology could change the way that people in Britain pay for insurance by offering discounts to drivers who eliminate risky behaviour from their driving. For instance, by restricting driving late at night or at the weekend when a disproportionate number of accidents happen, people could pay far less for their premiums. It could even lead to insurance being charged on a by-the-mile or by-the-hour basis.
Additionally the same technology could also be used to send messages to parents when their children break the speed limit whilst driving, could be used in court to resolve disputes about how an accident happened, or ultimately to send them diagnostic reports about when engine parts need servicing or replacing.
JT and Progressive Platforms are offering the Smart systems as a Managed Service to allow insurance companies to offer ‘usage-based insurance’ that will in-turn allow people to pick and choose when and how they drive, and to offer discounts accordingly. That technology will be particularly of interest in the UK where young drivers have to pay premiums of anything up to £4,000 for insurance.
John Diamond, MD of the Wholesale Business Unit at JT, commented: “We were very proud to unveil our partnership with Progressive Platforms at the at the M2M Telematics for Usage-Based Insurance conference in London. Launching this new service is another demonstration of our commitment to become the partner of choice for global telecoms innovation”.
Progressive Platorms managing director, Mark Fensome, said that the service was a practical application of M2M technology.
‘By combining our software which analyses the data generated through these devices and integrates with insurance providers’ systems, and JT’s network of roaming agreements, we think we have a perfect match,’ he said.
‘More and more, M2M technology, ‘Big Data and the “Internet of Things” is going to be a part of our everyday lives, and this is a great example of how innovation can improve public safety and save people money.’