New app mimics telematics technology to monitor how well people drive
Confused.com has developed a free new app called MotorMate, which the company said could help people become safer drivers.
The app for Android and Apple mobile devices mirrors aspects of an in-car telematics system, by accessing a handset's GPS connections to monitor driving skills.
By calculating a number of factors, including terrain, distance travelled, known junctions and traffic lights, along with the time taken to reach the destination, it will assess a range of driving skills such as acceleration and braking habits.
Joanne Garcia, the insurance broker's head of emerging products, said that the app is already giving customers "an abundance of expertise on road safety and how to become a safer driver."
The use of telematics technology in vehicles has grown increasingly popular. The technology helps drivers navigate, allows companies to track vehicles and also enables people to monitor driving performances. Part of the attraction for motorists is to reward good driving with cheaper car insurance premiums according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
A change to the law, which comes into effect on 20 December, and bans pricing insurance premiums based on gender could see costs rise dramatically for many women and make telematics systems more popular.
Although Confused.com said its free app could provide similar results to telematic technology, a spokesperson for the Automobile Association (AA) said: "The only really accurate way of recording your driving performance is using a device that is wired into your car."'
The problem is that the cost of installing telematics technology is currently quite pricey, with systems priced at around £200. Confused.com said drivers unsure about paying this much for the technology could use the app as a 'try before they buy' tool.
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