Milan paying residents not to drive

Some European struggle to accommodate their current traffic volumes. Often narrow, bumpy streets are downright ancient, and not exactly laid out with efficiency in mind. We've seen cities across the Old World take different approaches to addressing this issue – London instituted congestion charging, while Hamburg is actively working to ban cars by the mid 2030s. Milan, meanwhile, is taking an all-together different approach.

Rather than charging car owners every time they drive into the city, the Milanese government is teaming up with the public transport department, insurance agency Unipol and Octo Telematics, a manufacturer of "black boxes" and onboard telematics systems for a new campaign called "Park Your Car and Go Public!" With the telematics systems installed in the cars of Unipol customers, city officials know how often a car is left at home and will reward customers if the car remains parked from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.

It's not a huge reward – only 1.50 euros per day or $1.84 – but it covers the cost of a ticket on public transport and is easily delivered via text message. The new campaign, according to Octo Telematics, proves the appeal of connected car systems.

" Previously, the connected car has been all about navigation, infotainment and insurance," Jonathan Hewett, chief marketing officer at Octo Telematics, told The Financial Times. "What we're seeing with this project is organizations from public and private spheres can get together and make life better for Europe's citizens."

What do you think? Would you agree to let your insurance company monitor the use of your car? Would a daily rail pass in exchange for not using your car be enough, or would you need a bigger incentive? Have your say in Comments.

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