A few years ago, 2020 seemed a long way out. That was the year that many manufacturers earmarked for their self-driving car rollouts. Now that 2020 is just three years away, some carmakers are kicking the can to 2021. They’ve learned that it's one thing to make the cars, and quite another to get them onto the road. To achieve the later, carmakers must traverse a web of decisions involving multiple parties, from lawmakers to consumers.
"It’s clear now that autonomy in 2020 does not mean self-driving cars sharing the highways," said the auto tech hub TU-Automotive. We'll certainly see cars by then that are more autonomous, but fully autonomous? Maybe at your city bus stop. Not so likely in your garage.
Indeed, public transportation has emerged as an important stepping stone to the autonomous ideal. It "seems to be the shape of autonomy to come for the next decade or two: bus- or taxi-like services operating along pre-determined routes in limited areas that are probably not open to private vehicles," said TU-Automotive.
It's important for connectivity as well. "Many cities have begun smart transportation initiatives to optimize their public transportation routes, create safer roads, reduce infrastructure costs, and alleviate traffic congestion as more people move into cities," according to Business Insider. Sensors can track vehicles by GPS. Drivers can find and reserve public parking spaces before they roll up. Smart cities can leverage driving data to optimize their infrastructure planning. And, of course, bus-goers can access the Internet while they ride.
It turns out busses and taxis can get through some doors more easily than cars. For both autonomous and connected vehicles, standardization remains a thorn in the side of smart cars, as cyber security threats adapt to target connected cars, and self-driving cars strive to meet the safety guidelines that lawmakers have required of them before they can lay claim to the road.
The news isn't just happening in the United States. This April, the forum Connected Car Insurance Europe will be meeting in London, where they'll discuss the most important issues affecting insurers in the connected car space:
New mobility trends that come of customizing episodic coverage to digital products
New risk factors
The cyber security exposures of connected vehicles
The impact on claims processes and loss experience - how often cars collide and how much it costs to repair them when they do
Where value-added services fall short
All told, 2017 should be an interesting year. We can expect to see more connectivity and autonomy in the world of public transit. We can expect carmakers to continue pushing to make those features available to regular people as well. Insurers will continue to face questions about how to adapt claims for new scenarios and uncharted territory, and old assumptions will continue to be challenged.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.