For insurers such concepts introduce both new risks and opportunities. As both the vehicle cabin becomes configurable to serve a variety of retail use cases and the “driver” becomes autonomous, there will be profound shifts in the way we insure these vehicles. There are numerous startups emerging to solve and address various pieces of this puzzle. Companies like May Mobility are building such autonomous fixed route shuttles and working with large enterprises to transport employees to and from public transit stops. Others like Mpathy.ai and Passenger.ai are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to monitor in-cabin behaviors, alerting shared mobility operators in events such as smoking, forgotten items, etc. Still, others such as Edge Case Research and Avanta Studios’ company, Ottometric, are leveraging tools to detect edge behavior cases to better train the vehicle’s AV system. Each of these categories represent potential opportunities to help insurers prepare for a changing automotive and retail future.
Implications for supply chains and how it’s affecting the insurance industry
In the same way that it is changing brick-and-mortar retail, COVID-19 is also impacting and placing immense strain on every part of the supply chain. Even prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the US was facing a shortage of over sixty thousand truck drivers. These numbers will only increase as e-commerce activity swells. Even more pressing than long-haul trucking is last-mile delivery, which represents over 50% of the total delivery costs. These costs are a direct result of the inefficiencies and challenges generated in last-mile delivery: from the human element of door-to-door drop-offs to constantly changing delivery routes to the limited density of delivery locations in suburban locations.
As a result of these challenges and the pressing need to increase efficiency and lower costs, fleets will be required to seek out new solutions and opportunities. Fleets will increasingly require advanced management capabilities to improve vehicle uptime via predictive maintenance, to increase overall efficiency via dynamic routing and to lower accidents via driver monitoring. Moreover, all of these applications will require high-quality in vehicle data and telematics solutions: an area that will become increasingly critical. Companies like HDVI, for example, are creating insurance products with driver behavior coaching as a key component aimed to help long haul truck operators improve how they drive and reduce accidents. Others such as Wise Systems are leveraging AI to improve the efficiency of routes for last-mile delivery. Finally, companies such as Motorq are acting as the bridge to enable fleets to access in-vehicle data without the need for additional hardware. Each of these three examples represents both opportunities for fleets to improve their own operations through data and telematics, but also partnership opportunities for insurers to unlock new channels.
The future of mobility and insurance continues to evolve as we face new challenges that come with COVID-19. This shift has affected e-commerce and the way we consume products with AI-assisted delivery services. As we continue tracking these changes, we can’t help but wonder how e-commerce and the insurance industry will be impacted in a post-pandemic world.