Want better car insurance rates? Let the AA track your driving

The U.K.'s Automobile Association says its tracking technology could help save customers 850 pounds--or more than $1,300--annually.

If you could save over $1,300 on your annual car insurance by letting your provider track your driving, would you?

That's the question U.K. drivers are mulling this morning, as the country's Automobile Association (AA) is set to launch a new insurance policy that would place a "black box" into a car, allowing the organization to make sure its insured drivers are behaving on the road.

According to the BBC, which first reported on the move, the technology will monitor speed, braking severity, and the roads drivers are on. The information collected from the black box could also be used to determine fault in an accident, as long as it was requested by a court order.

In addition, AA told the BBC that if a driver is traveling at unsafe speeds, the person will receive a "stern e-mail" from the organization informing him or her to slow down.

Although there are obvious privacy implications to adding a black box to a car that tracks nearly everything a driver is doing, the so-called "pay-how-you-drive" plan is opt-in. The AA says that it will not install black boxes without a car owner's consent.

Still, the organization has made it a financially attractive option for customers. The AA told the BBC that drivers who have the black box installed and adhere to safe driving practices could save as much as 850 pounds (about $1,343) each year. The savings could be especially attractive for younger drivers who must pay higher premiums because of their age, the organization says.

In a tangentially related event, the merit of warrantless automobile tracking in criminal cases was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision last month, the high court said that the Fourth Amendment protection of "persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" would be violated if law enforcement agencies were allowed to attach a GPS location to a suspect's vehicle without obtaining a warrant.

The AA did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

 

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