In insurance, as well as the many industries, investments and individuals who rely on it, three “mega-trends” continue to force customer service and product innovations:
• Artificial intelligence (AI)
• The Internet of Things
These three themes punctuated a recent webinar hosted by CCC Information Services titled “Driving Change: How artificial intelligence and smart technologies are revolutionizing our industry.” Led by CCC’s Industry Analyst and Director Susanna Gotsch, who’s also a regular contributor to PropertyCasualty360.com, and CCC’s Senior Vice President of Product Management Jason Verlen, the presentation looked at how advanced technologies are changing the insurance business, most notably the auto insurance business.
“Advances in digitalization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), sensor and camera technology are driving dramatic change and improvements in automotive technology. And these advances are creating a ripple effect throughout the entire automotive ecosystem,” Gotsch wrote in the CCC report “Crash Course 2018,” which she referenced during the webinar.
• In 2017, over 90 million vehicles were sold globally
• The United States continues to be among the largest markets for vehicle sales in the world
• A strong economy and low unemployment in the U.S. continues to drive consumer interest in vehicles with such high-tech bells and whistles as WiFi and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
ADAS-equipped vehicles in particular---meaning those that automate, adapt and enhance vehicle systems---are reshaping the way auto insurance is sold and auto accident claims are handled. Among the many reasons why: “ADAS-equipped vehicles have a lower percentage of front-end accidents,” Gotsch said during the CCC webinar. “Accident frequency will reduce over time, and the industry will see fewer accidents.”
In the event of an accident involving an ADAS-equipped vehicle, however, these intelligent technologies may lend themselves to tricky liability questions.
Seeking Out Safety
How can consumers and insurers decipher which new vehicles feature the latest ADAS technologies?
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tackled that question by monitoring automakers that have committed to installing automatic emergency braking (AEB) as a standard feature.
Twenty automakers have pledged to voluntarily equip virtually all new passenger vehicles with a low-speed AEB system by 2022. Together, these companies represent the vast majority of the U.S. auto market. These automakers are:
• Jaguar/Land Rover
• Fiat Chrysler
• General Motors
• Maserati/Alfa Romero
“IIHS is pleased to see that automakers are steadily moving toward the shared goal of putting standard AEB into every new car they sell,” David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer of IIHS, said in a December 2017 press release. “This is a big win for safety on our nation’s roads, which will see fewer crashes and injuries because of this commitment.”
The chart below prepared by the NHTSA and the IIHS indicates which automakers are currently ahead of the game when it comes to installing AEB in every vehicle and those that still have some catching up to do.