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Insurers increasingly using "black boxes" to monitor driver behaviour

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by thegruf, May 25, 2015.

  1. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    Well here in the UK at least, seems to be the latest thing the insurers are using to monitor drivers behaviour and supposedly reduce costs.

    It's bad enough my supermarket knowing everything I eat, but I really don't want insurers mapping my every move.
    Dont trust them one iota tbh, only a matter of time before the data is sold off to the highest bidder.

    And Model S acceleration going to send the box off the scale pretty regularly too :)
     
  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    They claim that these reduce costs, but we all know that's not the case, a "discount" for these is really a price hike for not having it, as you know the insurers aren't cutting in to their bottom lines for this.

    Sadly, as long as they are "voluntary" I doubt regulators will stop it, and pretty soon they'll be voluntary in name only as the extra cost to not be tracked will likely be quite high.

    Worse yet, the boxes have no way of knowing what is or isn't safe driving. Did I swerve suddenly because I was drunk? or to avoid a kid who ran out in to traffic? Did I brake hard because I didn't leave enough room, or because someone cut me off? did I accelerate quickly to race someone? or because Someone was about to clip the back end of my car?
    If I consistently drive at half the speed limit, never stopping for a red light or stop sign, this device won't know that I'm a hazard, but if I swerve to avoid hitting a small child my rates will go up.
     
  3. Footbag

    Footbag Member

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    Don't these black boxes typically connect to the ODB-II port, which is near useless in the Tesla? If so, I wonder what the insurer would say if they couldn't get the data needed from the car?
     
  4. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    OBDII - I dont believe so, at least not all of them anyway, I thought they were gps/gsm/accelerometer based (using technology very much like your smartphone)

    they typically log


    • The time of day or night you drive
    • The speed you drive at on different sorts of road
    • If you brake or accelerate sharply
    • If you take breaks on long journeys
    • Your motorway miles
    • Your total mileage
    • The total number of journeys you make

    a creeping unregulated big brother malaise imo
     
  5. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    The one State Farm uses only uses the ODB-II port for power and vehicle diagnostics. The internals handle most everything else.
     
  6. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    the thought of having a box connected permanently to your OBDII port, even if read only, when it is made down to a price and not to full automotive standards is frankly worrisome.
    Another very good reason not to do this.
     
  7. ddimit

    ddimit Member

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    A lot of insurance companies offer them, Progressive, Nationwide etc. its voluntary. I had one on my OBD port for about 9 months on another vehicle. Participating reduced my insurance on the vehicle by 300.00 a year as for as long as i stay with that company. In ca its pretty limited what data they can collect and use, mostly Mileage. It cannot be used to raise your rates here unless you under reported your annual mileage.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    You say your rates went down by $300, but really, the insurance company didn't give up any money, so what really happened was everyone else's rates went up.
    it looks appealing for the first people, but as more people accept this garbage it just drives everyone's rates up until the "discounted" rate is at least as high as we all pay now, and the "non discounted" rate is much higher (to recover all costs associated with the program including the hardware and the administration nightmare at a bare minimum. Insurance companies are not in the business of giving away profits!)

    If an insurance company has 10 people paying $1000/yr and half of them are given a discount of $200 to install one of these, the other half will have to have their rates go up by MORE than $200 to keep profits the same. And I don't see any indication that insurance companies are interested in reducing profits to do this.
     
  9. ddimit

    ddimit Member

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    So you don't agree that a higher risk/premium should be assigned to the driver who drives more miles or in some cases during windows of time when there is a higher risk for accidents?
     
  10. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Yeah, I hope consumers shun this intrusive nanny technology.
     

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