How OEM’s are embracing black box technology and the data that it offers

How OEM’s are embracing black box technology and the data that it offers

By Adam Gooch, commercial director at Insure Telematics Solutions


The motoring industry has been built on innovation. From the first mass-produced vehicle rolling off the line to the robotic plants of today, churning out thousands of cars per week. And beyond this the autonomous, intelligent cars of the future that are swiftly becoming a reality.


As technology has developed and advanced, manufacturers have sought to cater to the growing consumer demand for connected vehicles with a particular focus on in-car features - whilst gaining access to the significant financial and safety benefits such hardware can bring.


The EU commission is already pushing for the mandatory introduction of eleven new safety features as a standard in all cars by 2030. Amongst the proposed features are several technologies already in widespread use, including autonomous emergency braking, reverse assist cameras and the obligatory inclusion of event data recorders in cars and vans. Leading global manufacturers are beginning to recognise the vast benefits that the inclusion of in-built safety devices can bring, but they remain somewhat underused – and as a result, so does their data.


Telematics technology has steadily gained traction within the automotive industry over the last decade as insurers, drivers and manufacturers have begun to fully realise the power of big data. Indeed, at Insure Telematics Solutions (ITS), we have recently expanded our offering from simply being an end-to-end telematics provider, to also offering telematic data management across any device.


We believe that this focus on the data behind the products, along with the products themselves, is the future as we move into becoming a cutting-edge platform solution for any blackbox device. We will be able to manage the data collected by other companies and then collate everything that we have gathered and analyse the results for fleet managers, manufacturers, insurers, etc.


Of course, one of the biggest arguments for standardised tech features, aside from the data, is the role it can play in making drivers safer. All sectors of the automotive industry have a vested interest in reducing the amount of fatalities and serious accidents on our roads, from insurers looking to reduce compensation payouts, to the importance placed by consumers on vehicle safety track records. This last point is particularly pertinent from a manufacturer’s perspective, as a safety scare, whether genuine or perceived, can have a lasting impact on public perceptions of their brand.


Whilst human error continues to be a significant factor in many collisions, tech companies are making clear advances in the effort to minimise the element of unpredictability currently involved in driving. At ITS, we’ve developed an advanced crash algorithm in partnership with Microsoft Azure, using collision data from black box devices to build an extremely detailed picture of an incident.  


With a combination of AI and Machine Learning, the algorithm can determine genuine incidents from door slams and potholes, and create a dataset revealing the actions that led to the collision occurring. Each recorded incident strengthens our algorithm’s ability to predict future accidents, and our risk scoring technology works alongside this to detect unusual driving behaviour and identify high-risk drivers.



Technology cannot only open up new and powerful streams of revenue for car manufacturers, but improve both improve their understanding of how their cars are driven and help to ensure that their vehicles are operated safely.


What’s more, in a time sensitive society, we value functions that serve to streamline our days and make things easier for us, and there exists huge scope for OEM’s to use technology to aid this. For example, using data from a black box, manufacturers can identify locations frequented by drivers, and offer targeted deals and experiences in partnership with other businesses. Onboard telematics could identify when a car is due an MOT, notify the driver, and direct them to a nearby partner garage.  


Manufacturers could also begin to offer customers personalised purchase recommendations, based on black box information such as location, weather, and fuel consumption. Dealerships would then be able to provide tailored services to potential customers, whilst speeding up the purchase process for the buyer. The kind of data, gathered by a black box would previously have taken years to collect, and the opportunity to have daily interactions with customers is invaluable to any business.  


Over the next few years we can expect to see an increasing amount of tech incorporated as part of the standard vehicle build. As the EU proposal continues to gain momentum, and consumers demonstrate an ever-growing appetite for new technologies, many manufacturers are beginning to take note of the benefits of incorporated technologies. From increasing safety and reducing fatalities and accidents, to the huge financial incentives they can offer, incorporated technologies like black boxes are here to stay.








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