U.K.-based Norwich Union announced its "Pay As You Drive" program in February 2002, shortly after the company received exclusive rights to U.S.-based Progressive Casualty Insurance Co.'s patented method of determining auto rates based on when, where and how a person drives.With a team of approximately 100 people from Norwich Union and its vendor companies developing the telematic devices, the infrastructure, and the interfaces to Norwich's back-end systems, the company had expected its pilot program to begin last summer.

But launch was delayed to this summer. "Things have taken a bit longer than anticipated. But that's the nature of an R&D project," says Robert Ledger, program director at Norwich Union, which is part of London-based Aviva.

Still, progress has been made. Over the past 12 months, the company has installed approximately 500 data-collection devices in the cars of its employees, as well as some customer vehicles. And currently, Norwich Union is fitting several hundred "black boxes" per week in customers' cars.

"By the end of this year, we expect to have 5,000 customers with boxes installed in their vehicles," Ledger says.

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