Black box

What does a black box do in a car?

A black box is a small GPS unit in a car that sends information to your insurance company, so that you can potentially pay lower premiums. 

The insurance company takes data from the car such as how fast you drive, how harshly you accelerate and brake, when the car is driven and how far you travel. Basically, the way you drive and the risk of having a crash is assessed using this data.

Some insurance companies can now measure drivers’ performance using a smartphone app, instead of installing a physical black box.

Related Jargon

What are telematics in a car?

Telematics technology uses information from a vehicle’s on-board computer along with GPS data to record how and where a car is being driven – for example, how fast it is going, how harshly the accelerator or brakes are applied, etc.

What is GPS and how does it work?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites that sends information about time and location to a vehicle’s navigation system.

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