Green-lighted drivers pay less to drive

Computer says yes…

Computer says yes…

Young drivers in Staffordshire will have their driving assessed by an in-car computer to earn discounts on their insurance.

The GreenRoad Safety Center, an electronic driving instructor that analyses 120 driving manoeuvres, is being installed in up to 500 cars in Staffordshire as part of a coaching programme for drivers under 25.

Each month drivers will be able to get up to 10 per cent of their insurance premium back from Admiral Insurance, if the Safety Center judges their driving to be low risk.

The Safety Center uses a G4 motion detector, GPS and computer to analyse each manoeuvre and gives the driver feedback on how risky their driving is by flashing a green, amber or red LED light on the dashboard.

At the end of the journey the computer will assess the overall trip as green, amber or red and an onboard modem will beam the results back to Admiral's and Staffordshire County Council's computer systems where it can be used to calculate the discount.

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Last year a six month trial of the system by 40 young drivers in Staffordshire reduced the number of high risk or red driving manoeuvres by almost two-thirds, 58 per cent.

Staffordshire County Council, which is paying for the systems to be fitted to cars, said the system would save lives.

A spokesman told silicon.com: "The number of fatalities among young people on the roads are shocking.

"From the trial we found that when young people start using the system, about 90 per cent are performing risky manoeuvres regularly but that drops dramatically within a few weeks of using the system.

"We have proven the system works but now there is a big carrot for young people in being able to reduce their insurance payments significantly."

Drivers will also get a 25 per cent discount on their premiums from Admiral just for taking part in the scheme.

GreenRoad is getting ready to embark on a similar partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Staffordshire said that about 40 other councils had expressed interest in running similar electronic assessment schemes.

William Williams, product development manager at Admiral, said in a statement: "New drivers pay a fortune for car insurance and that's because they are so much more likely to kill or maim while driving.

"It's a way to cut the carnage on the roads while also cutting the cost of car insurance."

Norwich Union tried using GPS tracking to offer pay-as-you go car insurance to its customers in 2006.