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RAC Telematics delivers game-changing test results

Press release   •   Mar 31, 2015 00:01 BST

Independent crash-detection accuracy test puts RAC above 90%

RAC Telematics looks set to take the vehicle tracking technology into a new era as independent tests prove its crash detection accuracy is far above current industry averages.

TRL, the UK’s transport research laboratory which provides impartial world-class research, testing and certification for all aspects of transport, confirmed the crash detection accuracy of RAC Telematics in a series of controlled tests.
The results show a 92% accuracy in detecting crash and non-crash events in more than 60 tests - significantly higher than the industry average of less than 70% for on-road systems.

The results mean that RAC Telematics is not only able to detect and confirm when a collision has taken place, but at slow speeds can also distinguish between a collision with another vehicle and whether a driver has hit a kerb or a speed bump – unlike most standard telematics systems.

This new industry-leading capability in crash detection will benefit multiple market sectors as collisions at less than 10mph result in more than double the number of disputed accident claims than at higher speeds.

Insurance providers will have first notification of loss with detail about crash severity and vehicle location. Lease companies will have greater insight into vehicle condition and be able to better service customers for repair.

RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “The results from TRL provide unrivalled independent verification of the crash detection accuracy of the RAC Telematics system, which is hugely beneficial to our customers looking for a product they can trust to report events with the highest accuracy.

“By monitoring both acceleration and vibration signatures at the point of an incident, RAC Telematics is able to identify whether a crash has, or hasn’t, taken place with a 92% certainty.

“Crucially our technology will identify a low speed incident where crashes are often missed or disputed. It will also separate out events known as “false positives” such as speed bumps and kerb impact giving significantly more intelligence than traditional methods.”

Tests on the system were carried out by TRL at the end of 2014, and accuracy levels were achieved following more than 60 controlled tests including collisions and other kinds of impact such as hitting a kerb.

Iwan Parry, Programme Development Director at TRL said: “This test programme was developed specifically to evaluate the robustness of the RAC Telematics solution in the detection of collision and non-collision events.

“The test programme provided a thorough assessment of the technology, testing system response to both travel over severe road features (potholes, speed humps, etc.) and vehicle impacts over a range of speeds, impact orientations and vehicle types.

“We are delighted that through this testing TRL has been able to demonstrate the performance of the RAC Telematics product in an independent trial that allows the RAC to confidently evidence system performance.”

All 1,500 RAC patrol vehicles are fitted out with telematics units where there has not only been a significant cost saving in terms of fuel, but has also provided a basis for driver style and safety improvement - or on-the-job driver training.


RAC Telematics now provides units to hundreds of customers across a broad range of industry sectors, from corporate to SME. Furthermore, the RAC Telematics system is designed to be fully compatible with its’ Accident Management service offering a completely integrated solution from crash through to recovery and repair.

Nick Walker added: “Our telematics service brings all the known benefits of cost and efficiency to fleet operators large and small. But on top, we have technology strengths which will offer additional insight into fleet risk and driver safety.

“Our advanced crash notification capability, and our driver style monitoring incorporates two aspects of driving – risk and efficiency. Both of these technology areas are unique to RAC, and represents the result of focussed investment over the past two years.”

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