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How does a black box work?

Telematics is the technical term for any system which uses an electronic or mechanical device to communicate with other remote devices or systems over a network. Most of us have already used in-car telematics in the form of GPS (global positioning system) sat-navs and mapping apps.


When we plug in a GPS device we are sending messages out, via satellites, which tell our phone company or the sat-nav supplier where we are and, in a limited sense, what we are doing. In these two examples, the signals are, generally, not monitored or recorded, but the world of automotive fleet management (transport companies) quickly realised, some time ago, that telematics could be used to help them see exactly how their vehicles were being used. Insurers also recognised that they could use telematics to help them tailor policies and offer the best prices to the safest drivers.

Black boxes in cars

The in-car smart technology devices used by Drive Wiser are roughly the size of a smart phone. They are supplied, and maintained. Your device will be fitted for free by one of our engineers. Find out more about box fitting here.

Once the box is switched on it will send information back to Drive Wiser via satellites. The box sends information for each journey the vehicle makes. This information includes:

  • Location of the car
  • Length of journey – time taken and how many stops are made on the journey
  • Acceleration – how smooth or aggressive this is
  • Braking – how smooth or aggressive this is
  • Cornering – speed into and out of corners

The box will also record data during a collision, such as directional forces, speed, braking, impact and location. We can use this information if a claim is made.

How Drive Wiser uses this information

The data collected by the black box is sent to Drive Wiser, none of it is stored in the box itself. You can view the information about your car journeys via your Dashboard. We will also update you by email so you can address any dangerous or potentially risky driving behaviour and improve your driving score. In the event of a claim, your insurer will look at the data to help them establish liability and to efficiently handle the claim process. The GPS signals sent from the box can also be used if the vehicle is reported stolen.

Drive Wiser telematics car insurance – value and safety

We want to make car insurance simple and effective, while also providing added protection through in-car smart technology using telematics.

Get a quote today to join us.