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Milan suffers from some of the worst congestion in Europe, and has had to introduce temporary car bans to ease smog. Now the city authorities are offering motorists a voucher for one free trip a day on public transport if they leave the car at home between 07.30 and 19.30 on weekdays. For people going to work in the city, it means they must only pay the cost of one leg of their commute via public transport, which is already cheaper than driving.
But how does the city know that the car is kept at home? That is where the telematics come in.
Onboard telematics systems normally track speed, location and driving style, and have become popular with insurers who like to assemble such data. So the ability to track a car’s location is being used to guarantee that a car remains in its normal parking space during the busy 12-hour period.
The initiative, called ‘Park your car and go public!’, is a four-way partnership between the city council, the public transport network, a company making ‘black boxes’ with telematics systems, and an insurance firm.
T&E’s Italian supporter organisation Genitori Anti-Smog says the significance of having an insurance company involved relates to a growing trend among Italian car owners not to have insurance. With the telematics black box linked to insurance – normally at cheaper rates – motorists have an incentive not to avoid insuring their cars.