This is what makes the roads safer. Since 6 July 2022, all new car models marketed in the European Union must be equipped with a safety kit. Among them is the dreaded Black Box, whose official name is the Incident Data Recorder (EDR). This new device should be used to collect certain driving data, such as speed, braking, shock force or seat belt wear. The goal is to better identify the causes of accidents.
Let motorists rest assured: they will not be “watched”. EDR data will only be used in the event of an accident, and the government asserts that “only investigators, judicial authorities or research institutes have access to the black box data.” Above all, the data that can be used will be limited to a period ranging from 30 seconds before the accident to 10 seconds after the impact. That’s 40 seconds total.
Despite the protection that is Cnil, which is responsible for monitoring the use of this data, motorists’ associations do not see the arrival of such a game with good eyes: “At no time does the driver have the data, without ever recovering it. Even if there is Protecting the anonymity of motorists, we also know that practices around piling go fast, and we will remain very vigilant,” warns Alexandra Legendre, a spokeswoman for the Drivers Defense Association. The latter regrets that the real causes of the fatal accidents have not been resolved: excessive alcohol and drug abuse.
Cars: What can be expected from insurance per kilometer? our comparison
Insurance companies will not be able to access the data
Motorists also fear that this data will fall into the hands of insurance companies. Here, too, let them rest assured, because France Assureurs (formerly the French Federation of Insurance) was clear: “The recorded data has nothing to do with insurance: insurance companies will not have access to the data.” Furthermore, the data collected by the EDR will be anonymous and therefore not of interest to the driver nor the passengers. In other words, no one will be able to tell later on what level of alcohol is in the driver’s blood or how tired he is. No sound or picture will be captured, unlike black boxes installed in aircraft. Only data related to the car will be.
If insurers don’t have access to ERD data, they’re still happy with the arrival of these tools that will prepare the new car models put into circulation:
- Intelligent speed adjustment system;
- Mandatory interface to allow installation of an alcohol ignition interlock device;
- driver drowsiness and inattention warning system;
- advanced driver distraction warning system;
- Emergency stop signs
- reverse detection systems
- Plus an accurate tire pressure monitoring system.
Because all of these technological innovations should be able to reduce what insurance companies call claims. And car insurance premiums are directly linked to the frequency of claims down the road. Can we then expect lower prices? Not entirely. “These new regulations only apply to new models, recalls Cyrille Chartier-Kastler, founder of the consulting firm Facts & Figures. So it will be necessary to wait 10 to 20 years for the entire fleet of cars to be affected.” The AXA analysis confirmed: “The impact will be relatively weak in the short term on total claims,” the insurer explains to Capital.
Adrien Courier, Managing Director of Aéma: “In cars, we can expect changes in insurance premiums ranging from 0 to 3%”
AXA continues that any reduction in claims must be offset by higher auto repair costs: “Adding technologies has a huge impact in terms of claims because auto repairs are more complex.” The development of electronic vehicles is not the only burden on insurance companies.
Between 2012 and 2020, the price of spare parts grew six times faster (3.6% annually) than car insurance premiums. An illustration of the cost of windshields, which for example jumped 5.2% between 2019 and 2020, according to Facts and Figures.
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