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Will a 'black box' fitted into cars help improve road safety?

A new study, which is being run by Trinity College Dublin and CRASH Services, will fit a ‘black box’ into cars to see if such technology can help improve driver behaviour.

THE FIRST MAJOR Irish study into telematics technology, the electronic equipment used in cars, and road safety has been launched at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

The study, which looks at whether telematics devices could help improve driver behaviour and improve road safety, will monitor 50 young and inexperienced drivers by fitting a ‘black box’ device into their car.

The device will send information gathered from the car, such as speed, acceleration, deceleration levels and location, back to a central computer which will then be analysed.

The device then scores driving performance based on the frequency and severity incidents related to risky driving behaviour.

The drivers, the majority of whom reside in border counties, will be provided with feedback detailing how they can improve their driving performance and reduce the number of risky incidents that may occur.

The university’s School of Engineering and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering have partnered with accident management company, CRASH services, to carry out the study.

In a statement, Martin McRandal of CRASH said the company had been working with TCD’s academic team for the past twelve months to get the study up and running.

This is the first academic study of its type to be conducted in Ireland. Currently, there is no tangible evidence to prove or disprove the effectiveness of this technology in reducing road risk. The results… will be of benefit to everyone with an interest in road safety, including government and government agencies, fleet operators and insurance providers.

The findings of the study will be published in August.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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