'Clear Box' paves the way for customized insurance billing

Jan. 1, 2020
REGGIO EMILIA, Italy -- Insurance companies have a unique way of preventing fraud and customizing drivers' costs, thanks to an aftermarket telematics solution that a Northern Italian manufacturer plans to bring stateside early next year.
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REGGIO EMILIA, Italy -- Insurance companies have a unique way of preventing fraud and customizing drivers’ costs, thanks to an aftermarket telematics solution that a Northern Italian manufacturer plans to bring stateside early next year.

Octo Telematics, part of the MetaSystem Group, offers a “Clear Box,” which serves the function of a vehicle’s black box, providing data such as distance, speed, time and area in which a vehicle travels, offering insurance companies the potential to customize a driver’s needs and avoid fraud in the event of an accident. 

Giorgio Maldini, from the MetaSystem Group, discusses the company’s Clear Box.

The box can be connected to a vehicle’s undercarriage in less than an hour, and the name represents the transparency of all of the attendant information collected, according to company representatives. The combination of assessing the available data is endless, especially when combined with live traffic reporting, weather information and historical data of areas in which a driver takes a car.

“We work a lot on crash protection,” says Giorgio Maldini, homologation and innovation manager for MetaSystem’s research and development arm. He adds that the telematics system also works for stolen vehicle recovery.

If a vehicle is in a collision, the Clear Box will paint an exact picture for insurance companies, letting them know how fast the car was going, whether it was accelerating or decelerating, where the accident happened and weather conditions when the accident occurred, along with real-time traffic reporting for the time in question.

In Italy, the solution is useful due to the many false claims filed. “We have a big problem with fraud in Italy,” says Maldini. 

The solution also will detail when and where a driver goes, so insurers can determine policies based entirely on usage. For example, the data can notify companies whether or not the driver is operating a vehicle in high-traffic and high-risk areas. Italy’s roadways are grouped into nine different levels of risk.

Additionally, this telematics solution can provide the company with real-time information about traffic density, and divert drivers in cases of traffic backup and construction, a desirable alternative to installing sensors and cameras along streets and intersections.

At the time this feature was demonstrated, the company displayed live data from more than 1,000 vehicles encircling the busy city of Rome, in Southern Italy. 

The provider also works with a number of OEMs to assist in maintenance updates, along with offering fleet management solutions.

“We think it’s a new way for car manufacturers to maintain vehicle systems,” says Umberto Manfredi, COO of Octo Telematics, which is currently working with more than 30 insurance companies throughout Europe. The company plans to begin an agreement with a major U.S. insurance provider early next year, say reps, who would not disclose the potential insurance partner. Each insurance company uses the data differently and assesses the customer’s costs accordingly.

The company’s telematics solution provides analysis, dynamics reconstruction and crash kinematics to over-the-air vehicle diagnostics and fleet management, as well as real-time environmental impact data.

“At the European level, we are the biggest provider of telematics,” says Manfredi.

Octo Telematics, which was founded in Rome in 2002, has about 600,000 subscribers, with market penetration in all major European countries. 

MetaSystem -- which also offers alarms, remote control transmitters, Bluetooth hands-free kits and parking distance controls, among other products -- is one of a number of companies that will be featured this fall in a special section to appear in Aftermarket Business, Motor Age and ABRN magazines.

For more information, visit www.octotelematics.com or www.metasystem.it.

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