New technology for spying on hoons.
New technology for spying on hoons.

'Black box' spies on young drivers

AN Australian company has released a device that monitors how a car is being driven and send alerts to its owner via text message.

The device, called the In-Vehicle Monitoring System (IVMS), was originally developed for the mining industry by Australian company Digicore but is now available to private buyers.

It can be fitted in any car and according to the company, it is capable of detecting excessive speed, excessive or severe braking, unbuckled seatbelts and over-revving of the engine.

If the car is being driven aggressively or erratically the system is able to send a text message to alert the owner of the car.

Leading mining companies, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, already use the same technology to monitor fleet vehicles.

The device is on sale in 40 countries around the world but becomes the first product of its kind available in Australia.

Digicore spokeswoman Jayne Malan says the company is expanding to the private market because young drivers are over-represented in car accidents and believes this technology can help.

"We have the technology, so why not use it to save lives," Malan says.

"We've adapted it to suit the domestic market."

She says the company hopes to speak to government and road safety groups to try and get more support for the product.

The IVMS costs a "couple of hundred dollars" according to Malan, depending on the type of car and how it is installed.

Israeli-based company Mobileye offers a similar system and is looking to expand its operations into the Australian market.

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