One of the benefits of living in a bigger city is the number of transportation options available. I has long been intrigued by the cute little blue and white vehicles racing around the downtown (and their primo parking spaces) and so decided to look into Car2Go.
Car2Go is convenient for people living within the service boundaries (we squeaked inside). You find an available vehicle using their app, swipe your card and climb in to pilot an environmentally-friendly Smart Fortwo car. Members are then charged for the amount of time they use the vehicle. They’re a lot of fun to manoeuver and get amazing fuel economy, but they tend to not have as much get-up-and-go as regular cars. Since I’m not a fast driver to begin with (even in my new car), I don’t really notice, but my husband (who has a bit of a lead foot) tends to find them a touch frustrating…about as frustrating as I find his driving behaviour.
Both my husband and I have Car2Go memberships, but I hadn’t been a passenger with him in one until recently. To say the least, it was an eye-opening experience for the both of us.
The vehicle knows all
After a short drive incorporating plenty of bickering as my husband tried to make our Car2Go go faster than it was built for, our trip ended with a lesson in humility and car technology. As he went to finish his trip, the car’s computer asked my husband how he thought his driving was. Hilariously, and rightly, he received a warning saying that if he wasn’t more respectful of the vehicle, he could have his membership suspended or even revoked.
It was a wonderful “I told you so” moment, and it made all the sense in the world to me. Obviously, Car2Go has to have some idea of how people are driving its vehicles, otherwise how could they possibly convince an insurance company to provide coverage for their members as well as allow for the reasonable rates they offer?
Innovative car insurance: The basics of telematics
How did the car know, though? Well, I did some research when I got home, and learned that each Car2Go vehicle is outfitted with a little black box featuring telematics technology. Telematics tracks driving performance, generating reports in regards to speed, braking, handling and other aspects of your journey.
Essentially, telematics devices observe your driving, then generate reports based on the choices you made when you were behind the wheel. If you’re going too fast, the car will know. If you’re slamming on the brakes, the car will know. If you’re taking sharp turns at high rates of speed, the car will know.
Telematics and time-based insurance
Right now, telematics applications are available to commercial vehicle insurance holders in Alberta and Ontario. Provided through InsureMy, companies can choose to implement telematics as time- or usage-based (or a combination of both), meaning fleet operators can track their drivers’ habits, time, or both.
Because drivers know they are being “watched”, telematics have the tendency to improve overall behaviour. They are poised to revolutionize the car insurance industry, with many believing they will usher in a new era of conscientious driving and make the roads a safer place for everyone.
The thinking behind telematics is simple: if drivers are being monitored at all times, they will drive more safely. I know I’m a lot more careful when approaching areas where the police are known to run speed traps. If you’re a safe driver and observe speed limits, brake responsibly and handle your vehicle well, you’ll generate favourable telematics reports.
As far as car insurance goes, the day when most (if not all) newly manufactured cars will come with factory-installed telematics devices might not be far off. Insurance companies will likely soon offer optional time- and usage-based insurance on personal vehicle policies, then extend rewards and discounts to responsible drivers (of course).
Telematics are a win-win situation for both drivers and insurance companies.
Innovative car insurance: Great coverage at excellent prices with InsureMy
I’m all about keeping our household costs down, and because I always do my best to drive safely, I want telematics on my side.
InsureMy is on the cutting edge of the insurance industry, breaking away from old conventions and embracing new technologies and other innovative approaches. For consumers like me, the end result is superior coverage that is uniquely adapted to my individuality. That’s exactly what I want, and it’s already benefitting our family’s bottom line.