Citroen has announced that the C1 Connexion will now come with a Telematics ‘Black Box’ as standard fitting as Big Brother moves closer.
As if it wasn’t enough that every street corner, business and park now has at least one CCTV camera, that we’re prosecuted for ‘speeding’ by yellow boxes on poles that take no account of road conditions or circumstances and that motorists are being milked dry by ‘stupid’ box junction and red light cameras, now Citroen are to fit a telematics ‘Black Box’ as standard to its C1 Connexion.
Citroen say the ‘Black Box’ fitting is so they can offer free insurance to buyers, with anyone from 19-75 getting a year’s free insurance with every C1 as long as they have at least two years no claims bonus.
But the devil is in the detail, and Citroen say that the premiums after the first year will be based on driving behaviour in the first year of driving. Which is where the problem lies.
Apart from the intrusion of having Big Brother track your every move behind the wheel, telematic boxes are, just like speed camera, incredibly stupid; they see everything as black and white.
No account is taken of road or weather conditions, and drivers are considered ‘good’ if they drive slowly, corner as if on ice and take-off at a snail’s pace. Drive like you know what you’re doing and your insurance premiums rocket.
Back in December we tested a Telematics App which mimics what a hard-wired Black Box in a car does. We found that a normal, brisk, drive on quick motorways – simply keeping up with the flow of traffic at 75-80mph – yielded a ‘reward’ of just one star from a possible five. We were, by the proclamation of Big Brother, ‘Bad Drivers’.
Conversely, our resident ‘Numptie’ driver – who plods everywhere and drives out of necessity – managed to score either four or five stars on every trip.
So the compulsory introduction of Black Boxes in cars looks set to milk the bank accounts of competent drivers and reward those who plod around and frustrate the rest of us.
Surely, that’s only going to raise revenue for the insurance companies and make the roads less safe than they already are?
Never mind the Orwellian intrusion and control of our driving.