UK insurer Norwich Union, part of Aviva, has purchased 10,000 'black box' data recording devices from specialist navigation systems provider Trafficmaster. The equipment forms part of Norwich Union's trial of a new payment system for motor insurance.

The data recording equipment would track a vehicle’s activity and communicate it back to Norwich Union, enabling the insurer to charge the driver of the vehicle on a ‘pay as you drive’ basis. The charges for the system could also operate on a sliding scale depending on, for example, the time of day a journey is being made.

Norwich Union believes the scheme has considerable potential for younger drivers in the UK who may otherwise struggle to afford car insurance. It has already trialed the scheme among a group of 1,500 young drivers.

According to the London Evening Standard newspaper, the system may also be aimed at residents of the UK’s congested capital city, many of whom may only use their cars on an ad hoc basis.

The deployment of the Trafficmaster equipment could also enable Norwich Union to provide additional services to its members, including satellite navigation and breakdown provision.