TomTom CURFER Review – This Black Box is a Telematics Game Changer
TomTom CURFER Review – This Black Box is a Telematics Game Changer
My name is Iain MacSween, I have been monitoring the emerging telematics insurance industry for the past five years. I was recently asked to review TomTom’s new CURFER driving app. Having reviewed a few of these telematics apps over the years I was interested to see what the GPS giant would come up with.
TomTom noted for the their GPS navigation systems are a long established name in the automotive world with a good record for product innovation and reliability. TomTom have decided to dip their toes in the telematic waters so to speak and I was intrigued to see what they have to offer.
As I said I have reviewed many telematics apps some good, some bad, but they all have one thing in common, they all use a GPS location signal to track you whilst you are driving. Tom Tom’s CURFER does not use GPS and this was surprising as they are noted for their GPS mapping services.
Why would they do this?
The reason is that TOM TOM do not need to track you individually, they are not offering an insurance service, they do not need to know your every move in order to calculate your driving score, they are simply offering you the ability take control of your driving, the ability to monitor yourself and your car in order that you can, improve your driving and keep a check on your car’s health. They are offering you the chance to save your driving information, increase your driving score and present this information to whoever needs it as proof of your driving ability.
Young Drivers Take Note
They are offering you much more than that though, this smart app can enable you to take control of your car insurance costs without the big brother eye of the insurance companies following your every move.
Why is that important?
After five years the telematics insurance industry has stalled, with a 2% market share and no chance of telematics insurance being adopted into the mainstream market, the telematics insurance providers have been forced to concentrate their focus on young drivers and practially force them into accepting telematics monitoring or pay exorbitant rates for their insurance policies.
Bearing in mind that young drivers have very little experience of driving and have had little chance of developing the roadcraft that maturer drivers have, it is unfair to expect them to take what amounts to a constant driving test everytime that they get behind the wheel.
Think about it, you have been driving for 10 – 15 years, one day a black box is stuck in your car and you are expected to drive as you did on your test day. Do you think you could do it? Do you think you could do it every day, with the threat of your insurance premiums being increased if you do not come up to standard, a standard of which you have no idea what the required score is.
It is an increased burden on young drivers at a time when they need to focus on improving their driving skills, not subconsciously worry about the fact that their every move is being tracked by some all seeing eye in the sky and their score calculated accordingly.
This is where CURFER is better, this app does not need a GPS signal, it records all of the information on a dongle that is plugged into the OBD port in your car. This means that you are in control of YOUR information, you and only you can see your information and share it with whom you choose and when you choose.
Why is TomTom CURFER a Black Box Telematics Game Changer?
All drivers can use this app and in so many different ways and that is what makes this app a game changer.
Young drivers can take control at last.
This app can teach young drivers how to drive to the standard required by telematics insurance companies before even having a black box installed. It uses a dongle and smartphone to teach you journey by journey and by real time visualisation how to improve your driving, also by recording and highlighting (If you use the trip analyser recording) where you went wrong and what you did. You can even save each journey and review it at a later time a when you can look through your trip and see exactly what you did wrong and where you did it. Enabling you understand what the problem is and where you can make improvements in the future.
Inexperienced and insecure drivers can gain confidence and improve their driving.
It will teach an inexperienced or insecure driver why and where they are making mistakes. With the real time visualisation and trip analyser, inexperienced drivers will be able to see on an interactive map where they make silly little mistakes and when they allow bad habits that to creep into their driving style by highlighting them. They can then analyse the mistakes journey by journey and gradually eliminate them leading to a vastly improved driving style, which it turn will lead to a high driving score. When you can maintain this score you then have the opportunity to present it to your insurers (even if they are not telematics insurers) and show them that you can consistantly drive at a superior standard. Hopefully this will result in a reduction on your insurance premium. Fuel economy is a high priority for most people when buying a car, however, inexperinced drivers do not always drive in the most eco-friendly way CURFER will teach you drive in a fuel efficent way.
Experienced drivers can benefit too.
Even if you are an experienced driver there are benefits to be had, the first and most obvious is that you will be able to have a visual representation of your driving skill, a driving score that is unique to you and (using this app for over 2000 miles my score has remained at 96) you can prove to whomever asks, this is my score, this is how good a driver that I am. Whether it be an insurance company or one of your mates trying to wind you up. You can use it to ask for a recuction on your car insurance policy if you wish as you will have the visual proof to back your claim up.
Car enthusiasts can benefit.
TomTom’s CURFER is not only about tracking your driving there is more to offer. Firstly you have a constant companion under the bonnet. CURFER is constantly analysing the health of your engine and presenting you with any data you need when you need it. It is fun! CURFER can be used on track days to analyse your driving style, it can be used to calculate where you can take a better line, brake a little sooner and shave seconds off your track time so that you can beat your mates best time.
TomTom CURFER Review – CURFER Real Time Visualisation
CURFER represents live telematics in an easy to read graphical format, you are then scored out of 100 in each section, and out of 100 as a whole.
This app will teach you how to get a telematics driving score that will ensure that you receive a discount on your insurance. No matter what your level of driving experience, it will teach you journey by journey where you can improve your driving to increase your score.
As you can see on the picture to your right this is what you can see when you drive, note the braking has changed to red with a low score of 42, whilst the idling is still in the green. How to resolve this? Slow down, brake less hard and as you do this your score will improve before your eyes.
Note the real time alert also showing red harsh braking alert.
This also indicates that you should take more care braking.
Whether is is braking, acceleration or cornering this app will show you where you are going wrong and how to improve and increase your score.
As you use the app and get used to it your driving will improve and you will understand the style of driving required to get a good score that will enable you to qualify for a discount on your insurance policy.
TomTom CURFER Review – CURFER trip analyser
By using track recording drivers will be able to see where they make silly little mistakes and when they allow bad habits to creep into their driving style. They can then analyse the mistakes journey by journey and gradually eliminate them.
One by one your bad habits will disappear and in no time you will improve your driving score and be able to maintain a high level of driving efficency and safety.
You will find that not only will you be able to reduce your insurance costs, you will see your fuel efficency improve and as a result lower your fuel costs.
TomTom CURFER Review – CURFER car finder
Another added feature of this app is theTom Tom CURFER car finder. You know what it is like, you are visiting a new town or city and have spent ages trying to get a parking place. You eventually find a parking space, park the car and pop off for a bit of lunch and some shopping, when you are finished you decide to go back to the car only to find that you cannot remember where you parked it.
You are in a strange place with none of your usual landmarks and end up having to wander around for ages before you manage to find your car.
Who needs hassle like that? With CURFER incidents like this will be a thing of the past, the CURFER car finder takes all the guess work out of looking for a forgotten parking place. Simply tap route me to my car and the app will drirect you to the exact spot that you parked your car, neat eh.
Where else are you going to get a quality piece of equipment made by a well known household name that can not only save you money on your car insurance and fuel costs but actually teach you to drive in a way that is beneficial, safe and will ensure that you and your passengers travel in a relaxed and stress free state of mind.
Why buy CURFER?
The purpose of CURFER is to change your driving habits. It measures Acceleration, Braking, Cornering and Idling time.
This app is so simple to set up, so easy to use and understand, and if you use the app properly it will actually help you to improve your driving skills, whether you are a novice or experience driver of many years.
Just leave it plugged in and it will start gathering data, you don’t even need to have the CURFER app open on your phone. Just open it once a day, or every other day and the data will sync. The information is stored on the Link 100 dongle until it can use the internet connection on your phone to upload the data.
Day in day out after installation this app save you money and keep you safe.
This app will work, this app will change your driving style, save you money and keep you safe, every day. Day in day out after installation this app will be working for you, looking after you and your car and for a tiny one off payment of £59.00 you would be mad not to try it.
You will recoup the cost of installation many times over through fuel saving alone and probably a lot more by reducing your insurance costs. Not only that users of CURFER to have the option of pushing their vehicle (e.g. battery condition, fault codes etc.) and / or driving data to other selected organisations who will provide them with added value e.g. breakdown providers, new & used car dealers, garage networks, media (sell your car with your CURFER score), extended warranty providers etc. This offers the possibility of saving even more money.
So what do I think of TomTom CURFER app?
I think that smart drivers use smart apps, they make life easier, I know I use my smart app every day now.
I think that for TomTom CURFER priced at £59 or TomTom CURFER + extension cable at £75 (only required when OBD port has a cover and the LINK 100 prevents the trim / cover from closing) is an absolute steal.
What other app can take you on a journey using real time visualisation, and journey analysis from novice driver to an experienced trackstar, reducing your insurance in the process and offering you the ability to share your driving prowess with all of your friends, family and anyone else that needs to know. Only TomTom CURFER as far as I know. Mind you it is no more than you would expect from one of the first companies to bring GPS satnav to the world.
Well done TomTom this looks like a winner.
Where can you get TomTom CURFER?
Thank you for reading TomTom CURFER Review – This app is a Black Box Telematics Game Changer