Dash cam developer sees a bright future for device

Oxford Mail: Kieran Thomas of ChilliBongo with one of the dash cams. Picture: OX64340 David Fleming Buy this photo Kieran Thomas of ChilliBongo with one of the dash cams. Picture: OX64340 David Fleming

A father-of-two is proving he’s no crash test dummy when it comes to business.

Kieran Thomas runs ChilliBongo, supplying dashboard-mounted cameras known as ‘dash cams’.

These record images onto a memory card so that if the driver is involved in a crash, the footage can be emailed to the insurance company.

The cameras are proving a hit, thanks to a recent surge in so-called ‘crash for cash’ scams, which cost the insurance industry a whopping £400m a year.

Typically, tricksters slam on their brakes, forcing the car behind to crash into the back of them before claiming on the other driver’s insurance.

Mr Thomas said: “The cost of insurance policies has doubled in the past two years, partly due to ‘crash for cash’ scams and false injury claims.

“Many motorists are worried about being a victim of one and if you are, it’s hard to prove you weren’t at fault.

“By fitting a camera, a driver has peace of mind that if they’re involved in an accident, they will be able to prove what really happened.”

Abingdon-based ChilliBongo has also done a deal with insurers to offer discounts of up to 15 per cent off premiums, once the dash cam is in place.

Related links

Mr Thomas, 37, came up with the idea while working as a courier.

He added: “We did a lot of advanced driver training and had to retake our test every six months, which got me interested in safer driving techniques.”

A while later, while working as a web developer, he was attacked during a road rage incident.

He said: “I later thought that if I had had a camera in the car I could have given it to police.

“So, I started developing the idea and writing to insurance companies.”

He left his job to set up ChilliBongo in summer 2012.

The cameras, which are manufactured in south Korea and China, retail from £149.99 to £279.99.

A few months after launching, the firm was chosen from thousands of start-ups to take part in the BBC 3’s Be Your Own Boss.

Mr Thomas, who grew up in Cowley and now lives in Didcot with wife Jo, has had a number of commercial fleets show interest and is looking for investors.

As for his firm’s unusual name, he explained: “I was trying to find something that was fun and would get people’s attention.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:36pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Is this a news story, this type of camera has been around for quite some time, and are available considerably cheaper than the quoted prices
Is this a news story, this type of camera has been around for quite some time, and are available considerably cheaper than the quoted prices Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -74

11:29am Fri 10 Jan 14

Neonlights says...

"The cameras, which are manufactured in south Korea and China, retail from £149.99 to £279.99"

That's one of a hell of a mark up. They probably only cost £10 to make in the first place.

Ebay, Amazon and the like have similar devices ranging from £25 to £50.

Even the top of the range Roadhawk camera is some £40 cheaper than the one ChilliBongo are selling.
"The cameras, which are manufactured in south Korea and China, retail from £149.99 to £279.99" That's one of a hell of a mark up. They probably only cost £10 to make in the first place. Ebay, Amazon and the like have similar devices ranging from £25 to £50. Even the top of the range Roadhawk camera is some £40 cheaper than the one ChilliBongo are selling. Neonlights
  • Score: -107

1:56pm Fri 10 Jan 14

chillibongo says...

Hi Dilligaf,

You're absolutely correct in that dash cameras have been around for a while. However, our USP is that we currently provide the UK's smallest Full HD camera, and we were the 1st company in the UK to partner with Adrian Flux to provide discounts of up to 15% for motorist using camera tech.

What initially started this new story is that just before Christmas we won a prestigious award from Dragon's Den TV star & leading entrepreneur, Theo Paphitis. Oddly that isn't mentioned in the final article although naturally we're still extremely grateful to receive a mention in the publication.

In addition to that, unlike any other camera supplier, we have been featured by BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC South Today, BBC Radio Oxford, Gizmodo, The Sunday Times and more.

Regarding prices, to a degree you are correct but equally as the saying goes, "You get what you pay for" :-)

We specialise in providing durable, extremely high quality cameras & our CB100HD camera is currently the smallest in the UK.

Our quality & reliability is so good our cameras have actually been used by professional BBC film crews.

To put it another way, some of our customers have said we're the iPhone equivalent in the dashcam market. We may not be the cheapest, but if you're after a high quality, attractive, easy to use, reliable camera, from a company who provides excellent customer support... quite simply, we're the best. Here's a selection of testimonials: http://www.chillibon
go.com/testimonials.
asp

The launch of our new HD camera now means customers can get all of this.... but at a fraction off the price of many country's most popular "low resolution" cameras.

@Neonlights - Our new camera (£149.99) is a full HD (1080) camera with excellent night vision (something cheaper cameras often fail on).

Roadhawks Entry Model (DC1) is a low resolution camera (640px x 480px) and currently retails for around £179.99 to £189.99, so our new camera provides you with a high quality HD camera and yet costs £30 less

I hope that helps?
Kieran Thomas
Founder - ChilliBongo Ltd
Hi Dilligaf, You're absolutely correct in that dash cameras have been around for a while. However, our USP is that we currently provide the UK's smallest Full HD camera, and we were the 1st company in the UK to partner with Adrian Flux to provide discounts of up to 15% for motorist using camera tech. What initially started this new story is that just before Christmas we won a prestigious award from Dragon's Den TV star & leading entrepreneur, Theo Paphitis. Oddly that isn't mentioned in the final article although naturally we're still extremely grateful to receive a mention in the publication. In addition to that, unlike any other camera supplier, we have been featured by BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC South Today, BBC Radio Oxford, Gizmodo, The Sunday Times and more. Regarding prices, to a degree you are correct but equally as the saying goes, "You get what you pay for" :-) We specialise in providing durable, extremely high quality cameras & our CB100HD camera is currently the smallest in the UK. Our quality & reliability is so good our cameras have actually been used by professional BBC film crews. To put it another way, some of our customers have said we're the iPhone equivalent in the dashcam market. We may not be the cheapest, but if you're after a high quality, attractive, easy to use, reliable camera, from a company who provides excellent customer support... quite simply, we're the best. Here's a selection of testimonials: http://www.chillibon go.com/testimonials. asp The launch of our new HD camera now means customers can get all of this.... but at a fraction off the price of many country's most popular "low resolution" cameras. @Neonlights - Our new camera (£149.99) is a full HD (1080) camera with excellent night vision (something cheaper cameras often fail on). Roadhawks Entry Model (DC1) is a low resolution camera (640px x 480px) and currently retails for around £179.99 to £189.99, so our new camera provides you with a high quality HD camera and yet costs £30 less I hope that helps? Kieran Thomas Founder - ChilliBongo Ltd chillibongo
  • Score: 65

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree