In one of the first examples of the application of green energy in insurance, a solar-powered telematics device that sticks discreetly to the windscreen of the car and speaks to the driver to expedite support in a crash is now being tested by motor insurers across the UK and as far as Asia. The device named Little Theo, will run for 50,000km before needing to recharge – which in most cases means never.
Developed by ThingCo, the Insurtech 100 business, the device solves issues such as battery drain, in-car distraction, and data accuracy common in other telematics solutions whilst still being low cost for the sector and convenient for the customer. Self-fitted in seconds, the device can easily be transferrable and re-cycled reducing costs to insurers further.
Mike Brockman, CEO of ThingCo, said: “This is a great example of how solar power can be harnessed to offer protection with green credentials. The use of solar energy is a selling point in itself but the real benefit is that it is powering new services that go beyond the basic insurance product – driven by highly accurate, second by second, driving data and crash detection.
“Technology has moved on leaps and bounds since telematics insurance was first introduced in the UK – we’re helping insurers keep pace with those changes and in doing so, widen the appeal of telematics to a new audience of motorists. They key is to make it simple, transparent and engaging.
“Crash notifications, voice support and rewards will all become expected services from insurers in the future – Little Theo will help the market get on the front foot of that transition, helping the sector build their connected car propositions and show consumers how their data can be used to their benefit.”
Unlike any other type of telematics device, Little Theo will talk to the driver in a collision to expedite support. If they choose, the collision data can be shared with the insurance provider to help support an insurance claim. The customer can view their data, trips and scores via the Theo App.