Young drivers telematics trial

SIRA, in conjunction with the NSW Centre for Road Safety, is conducting a research trial to explore the potential for telematics to help improve the safety of young drivers. This page will provide updates on the trial.

From March to July 2018, we asked for registrations of interest from drivers aged 17-24 from Western Sydney and regional NSW. We are focusing on this group because young drivers from these areas are over-represented in crash statistics.

We received more registrations than places available, and have finalised a group of participants balanced by location, gender, age and driving experience.

Trial results

Full details will be published in 2019. If you’d like to be notified when these are available please email to be added to the mailing list.


The young drivers telematics trial privacy statement details how we use trial participants' data and who gets access to it.

Questions about the trial

What is the young drivers telematics trial?

The trial involves 1,000 drivers aged 17 to 24, who live in Western Sydney or regional NSW.

The trial has been developed by SIRA in partnership with the NSW Centre for Road Safety and will measure the effect of telematics on young driver behaviour.

How does this work?

Participants are provided with a telematics device to install in their vehicle. This collects data around aspects of their driving behaviour such as speed, braking and acceleration. The device is paired to the participant’s smartphone.

We are using different versions of the telematics software to evaluate the effect of different features. We'll publish details of the research methodology used in the trial when it is complete.

Why are we doing the trial?

Crash statistics tell us that young drivers are over-represented in casualty crashes in NSW. Drivers under the age of 25 are up to 4.5 times more likely to be involved in a casualty crash and up to five times more likely to be involved in a crash that results in serious injury or fatality.

Young drivers were involved in 98 of the 158 fatal crashes that occurred in NSW in 2017. While this number has reduced since 2016 (111 fatal crashes), young drivers remain over-represented in fatal crashes and are a high-risk group on NSW roads.

Research shows that telematics-based feedback might be effective in reducing the driving behaviour associated with crashes and near-misses, such as speeding and harsh braking and acceleration.

We are undertaking the trial to see if telematics can positively affect the behaviour of young drivers in NSW.

When does the trial take place?

The trial began in July 2018 and will run for six months.

Why is SIRA only involving drivers from Western Sydney and regional NSW?

Research from the NSW Centre for Road Safety shows that young drivers in Western Sydney and regional NSW are in the highest risk driver groups.

How do participants get the telematics device?

The device is sent to participants after they have been selected and completed the formal sign-up process.

Will participants get paid?

Participants will be paid $100 for taking part, in two instalments of $50 at the beginning and end of the trial.

Once they have completed the trial, participants can keep the telematics device.

How will participants be paid?

Participants will be paid by pre-loaded debit card.

An initial payment of $50 will be made once they have completed a short survey, installed and activated the telematics device and driven 50 kilometres with the device activated.

The final $50 payment will be made once the trial is completed. Participants must complete the full six months of the trial to receive the second payment.

Who is running the trial?

The trial is conducted by SIRA in partnership with the NSW Centre for Road Safety.

We have contracted a research company to manage the trial.

Why is SIRA leading the trial?

SIRA’s functions under the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 include funding safety education and measures to prevent or minimise injuries from motor accidents.

Questions about telematics

What is telematics?

Telematics devices collect data on a vehicle’s acceleration, speed and braking. This can be analysed to better understand driver behaviour.

Is telematics already used in Australia?

Telematics devices are already used in the Australian fleet industry to monitor vehicle performance, fuel efficiency and driver safety.

Some insurers have conducted similar telematics trials in Australia.

What is the telematics system and how is it installed?

The system is made up of three components:

  • an adapter that plugs into the car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD II) port
  • a device that mounts on the steering column or dashboard
  • A smartphone app that pairs with the device by Bluetooth.

Does the car need to be a certain make or model?

The participant’s vehicle must have an OBD II port to be compatible with the telematics device. OBD II ports have been mandatory in new cars sold in Australia since 2006 and are also in some older imported cars.

Questions about privacy

Will my personal data be private?

In the normal course of the trial, data will be private and only shared or published in an aggregated or de-identified form.

Our privacy statement details how we use trial participants' data and who gets access to it.

Will my personal data be given to insurers?

Personal data will not be shared with insurers.

Can my data be used to enforce speeding tickets or traffic fines?

The telematics device used in the trial is not an approved traffic enforcement device. This means that data collected through the device or smartphone app cannot be used for the purposes of enforcement or disciplinary action in relation to speeding or other traffic offences.

Will participants data be passed to the police if they break the law?

We may be required to pass participants’ data to police if requested for a formal investigation process, such as for the purposes of crash investigations.

Will my vehicle be tracked?

While the smartphone app will gather GPS data for the purposes of the trial, we won’t track vehicle locations in real-time.

Will my parents get access to my driving report?

Reports on drivers’ behaviour are made through the smartphone app. This information will not be provided independently to parents.

What will you do with my data at the end of the trial?

At the end of the trial, all participant data will be completely de-identified. We will hold the de-identified data and use it for further research and analysis.

During the trial, the telematics provider will collect and store data on our behalf. The research company will also have access to some personal data. At the completion of the trial, all project data will be deleted from their servers.