The Scottish government is financing a pilot project to fit black boxes to business cars being driven by the under-25 age group.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in Scotland has teamed up with MyDrive Solutions, an insurance telematics specialist, to provide the infrastructure for the 12 month project. RoSPA says that research has shown that this type of technology can significantly reduce crash rates, levels of risky driving behaviour and fuel costs.
For organisations who participate in the project, MyDrive Solutions will supply and install a black box at the driver's house or place of work. The box is fitted underneath the dashboard and there should be no impact on the vehicle's warranty.
The black box records second-by-second driver analysis data and sends it to MyDrive automatically at the end of every journey. It provides a detailed profile of each individual driver's driving style, habits and capability. A web portal enables the employer and its drivers to view the results.
Following the pilot, RoSPA will publish a report to show how the black box technology has helped to identify real-life driving habits of at-work drivers, as well as a best practice guide for employers on the use of the technology.
It does seem that Black Box technology is the future. Young drivers are increasingly finding it is the only way to bring down their insurance premiums, and companies may be forced to adopt it because of "duty of care" considerations – companies need to show they have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their staff.
It may be a depressing thought for motoring enthusiasts and civil libertarians, but it is probably inevitable. On the plus side, it will make insurance fraud a lot harder – there will be no point crooks staging fake accidents when the black box will show exactly what really happened.