Braking down by the roadside is incredibly inconvenient and can prove costly. Fortunately RAC has developed a new Advance breakdown assistance ‘magic box’ that can predict when your car is about to break down well before it comes to a grinding halt.
The RAC Advance ‘magic box’ system is a tiny matchbox-sized unit that plugs into your car’s ODB-II port, a slot usually located under the dashboard. It monitors your car’s electronic systems for faults and can identify the root cause of a problem in the event of a breakdown, sending the information wirelessly to recovery vehicles.
It allows the RAC to come equipped to deal with the problem more effectively, bringing a partiular part, for example, or sending a tow truck because the problem can’t be rectified at the roadside.
More impressively, RAC Advance can detect when your car has developed a fault that could later lead to a breakdown, and will give you advance warning via an automated call, text or email. Sensors inside the unit will even detect when you’ve had an accident, sending an alert to the RAC and recording accident data for insurance purposes.
Speaking of insurance, RAC Advance can monitor your driving style, looking at speed, acceleration, cornering etc., to determine how safe a driver you are. Drivers deemed to be driving with care behind the wheel can later be rewarded reduced insurance premiums. If you are heavy-footed, the system will even suggest driving tips that could reduce your fuel bills by up to £350-a-year depending, of course, on how good you are at following its recommendations.
It must be said there are plenty of black box telematics systems available, but RAC’s interpretation is the first we’ve seen that combines breakdown recovery with emergency notification and insurance services.
You can register interest in the RAC Advance telematics technology on the RAC website. There’s no word on a price or when the service will launch, but we do know RAC current members will be prioritised.