We've written a lot over the years about autonomous vehicles, and so far, hopes have been high for the most part. But this month at Forbes, Gartner Research Director Mike Ramsey noted a change: "Autonomous vehicles have plunged into the Trough of Disillusionment!"
Chalk it up to growing pains."Hype is still relatively strong, but it isn’t the same as 2015 when the timetable for companies developing autonomous vehicles seemed reasonable and the impact enormous," Ramsey said.
That’s because the roadblocks are piling up. There's still no consensus on when self-driving cars will be ready for commercial deployment, much-needed federal regulations are yet to emerge, cities and states don't have regulatory answers either, and producers such as Audi are losing momentum as a result.
Yet while a word like "disillusionment" can chill the bones – especially in an industry that's spent billions on development – we've been expecting this. It's a normal part of the Hype Cycle.
The tech adoption cycle, in five phases
The Hype Cycle is a pattern that Gartner noted to describe the emergence and adoption of new technologies. It has five phases:
The Technology Trigger. During this phase, you'll hear proof-of-concept stories and see a lot of media interest about what's to come; however, the tech is a long way from hitting the market.
Peak of Inflated Expectations. All that interest foments into an eagerness that may or may not be aligned with reality. During this phase, you'll hear lots of success and failure stories, and you'll see some of your competitors moving to adopt. (If you're an early bird, perhaps you're one of them.)
Trough of Disillusionment. The initial flurry of high hopes crashes during this phase, and that's never fun. Implementations fail to deliver. Interest flattens. Producers give up. Survivors are born.
Slope of Enlightenment. The story's not over yet – at least, not for those with the tenacity to survive the Trough. During this phase, you'll start hearing more substantive stories about the true benefits the tech brings to bear. You'll see producers introduce second- and third-generation products. And more of your competitors will invest.
Plateau of Productivity. Only after we’ve weathered phases 1-4 does mainstream adoption set in. At this point, the industry has the context it needs to assess providers accurately, apply the tech to their challenges, and see the ROI.
"The idea is that technologies are hyped well ahead of their actual impact," Ramsey said. "By the time they are mature, they aren't hyped much any longer." Which brings us to a poignant question:
How often does new technology fail because its backers give up too soon?
The Trough of Disillusionment is a scary place to find oneself, whether you're a tech startup, an investor, or a company that has taken steps to prepare for that investment. Without a map and a compass, it's easy to suppose that this dismal point is, in fact, the destination. For those who persevere, however, it's merely the halfway point on the road to payoff.
Fortunately, your Silvervine insurance policy administration system will be ready and capable when you’re ready to start underwriting all the autonomous vehicles coming out of the Trough. Until then, request a demo and discover how Silvervine can take you to the future.
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.