British insurer More Th>n, pronounced "more than," is testing a program that tracks customers' vehicles by satellite to estimate their carbon dioxide emissions.
The program, known as Green Wheels, uses navigation-style technology to transmit data on speed, acceleration, braking, and steering. The data is used to form a picture of a customer's driving style and his likely carbon dioxide "tire print."
Motorists who sign up can compare their monthly carbon dioxide performance with that of others on the Green Wheels Web site. They are graded from A, for excellent, to G (the lowest grade given at U.K. schools), for a driving style that leads to high levels of carbon emissions.
Although the driver's carbon emission score does not influence his insurance premium, Keith Maxwell, head of core products at More Th>n, believes that one day it may.
"If someone is not accelerating, braking, and cornering hard, that tells us he is a better risk," Maxwell says. "There's demand for a product which allows people to learn about fuel efficiency, and a benefit for us is that we can learn about driver behavior."
(Source: Automotive News)