Systems using in-car accelerometers, speed sensors with GSM communication links have been available for vehicle installation for some years now. The information collected can be useful to support a claim whenever you have a mishap.  Some vehicle insurers also offer so-called telematics policies; a black box is installed which uses sensors to assess driving style and work out your insurance premium. These systems require some additional electronics and the choice is yours to decide if fitting this type of system would be of benefit.

According to the ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation) onboard fuel consumption meters (OBFCMs) must now be installed in all new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles from 1 January 2020. These will allow real-world measurements of actual energy usage to be collected (electric vs fossil fuel) for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). The ICCT have argued for years that this type of vehicle benefits from lower taxation but their CO2 emissions are largely dependent on how the vehicle is fuelled. It has not been decided whether the data will be collected during the vehicle’s periodic technical inspections (PTI), roadside spot checks, from software managed fleets like company cars or rental vehicles or via over-the-air (OTA) data transfer directly from each vehicle to the EU data collection facility.

The ICCT stated that this information will allow the European Commission to monitor the gap between type-approval and real-world CO2 emissions and eventually develop regulatory measures to ensure that the gap does not grow over time. The OBFCM data could also be useful for consumers to check how environmentally friendly particular vehicles are by checking out their fuel and energy consumption figures.