Manufacturers have a huge opportunity with autonomous cars

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Autonomous vehicles are set to be part of our transport future, which in theory should be good news for insurers as the human element of road accidents is gradually eradicated.

But can OEMs go further by embracing incorporated technologies into modern cars, so that location, speed and g-force during braking, plus a snapshot of any accident can be uploaded to an insurer’s website within seconds, thus settling the question of blame very quickly?

Yes, argues Adam Gooch, Commercial Director at Insure Telematics Solutions.

The motoring industry has always embraced innovation, from the first mass-produced vehicles rolling off the production line, to the autonomous, intelligent cars of today. As technology has developed and advanced, manufacturers have sought to cater to the growing consumer demand for in-car features, whilst gaining access to the significant financial and safety benefits such hardware can bring.

The EU commission is already pushing for the mandatory introduction of eleven new safety features as a standard in all cars by 2030. Amongst the proposed features are several technologies already in widespread use, including autonomous emergency braking, reverse assist cameras and the mandatory inclusion of event data recorders in cars and vans. Leading global manufacturers are beginning to recognise the vast benefits that the inclusion of inbuilt safety devices can bring, with tech giant Tesla incorporating an event data recorder into every vehicle since March of this year.

Telematics technology has gained rapid traction within the automotive industry over the last decade, as insurers, drivers, and manufacturers have begun to fully realise the power of big data. By adopting telematics technology early, Tesla has gained a real head start on its competition in terms of producing a complete and detailed map of exactly how its customers use their product.

One of the biggest arguments for standardised tech features, however, continues to be the role it can play in making drivers safer. All sectors of the automotive industry have a vested interest in reducing the amount of fatalities and serious accidents on our roads, from insurers looking to reduce compensation payouts, to the importance placed by consumers on vehicle safety track records. This last point is particularly pertinent from a manufacturer’s perspective, as a safety scare, whether genuine or perceived, can have a lasting impact on public perceptions of their brand.

Whilst human error continues to be a significant factor in many collisions, tech companies are making clear advances in the effort to minimise the element of unpredictability currently involved in driving. At Insure Telematics Solutions, we’ve developed an advanced crash algorithm in partnership with Microsoft Azure, using collision data from black box devices to build an extremely detailed picture of an incident. 

With a combination of AI and Machine Learning, the algorithm can determine genuine incidents from door slams and potholes, and create a data set revealing the actions that led to the collision occurring. Each recorded incident strengthens our algorithm’s ability to predict future accidents, and our risk scoring technology works alongside this to detect unusual driving behaviour and identify high risk drivers.

SAFETY TECH ALSO OFFERS A COMMERCIAL ASPECT

Technology can open up new and powerful streams of revenue for car manufacturers, with plentiful opportunities for direct consumer interaction, targeted advertising, and marketing collaborations. Consumers these days are used to targeted marketing, with personalised ads playing before TV programmes, suggested locations popping up on social media, and recommended purchases on online shopping platforms.

In a time sensitive society, we value functions that serve to streamline our days and make things easier for us, and there exists huge scope for OEMs to use technology to aid this. For example, using data from a black box, manufacturers could identify locations frequented by drivers, and offer targeted deals and experiences in partnership with other businesses. Onboard telematics could identify when a car is due an MOT, notify the driver, and direct them to a nearby partner garage.

Manufacturers could also begin to offer customers personalised purchase recommendations, based on black box information such as location, weather, and fuel consumption. Dealerships would then be able to provide tailored services to potential customers, whilst speeding up the purchase process for the buyer. The kind of data, gathered by a black box would previously have taken years to collect, and the opportunity to have daily interactions with customers is invaluable to any business.

By using this date to create bespoke services, OEMs can demonstrate a real understanding of their customers, building a lasting relationship that extends far beyond a one off transaction. Personalised services also provide brilliant opportunities to generate consumer engagement and targeted brand PR; critical in our highly competitive market.

Over the next few years we can expect to see an increasing amount of tech incorporated as part of the standard vehicle build. As the EU proposal continues to gain momentum, and consumers demonstrate an ever-growing appetite for new technologies, many manufacturers are beginning to take note of the benefits of incorporated technologies. From increasing safety and reducing fatalities and accidents, to the huge financial incentives they can offer, incorporated technologies like black boxes are here to stay.

posted on 11 September 2018 by Insurance Edge

Fraud is no match for technology in the autonomous era

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As a society, we are becoming increasingly inter-connected at an extraordinary pace, with driverless cars just round the corner. Adam Gooch, commercial director, Insure Telematics Solutions, argues that the more connected we are, the more successful we are at fighting fraud.

We live in a world where we can live stream each other our locations, order almost anything with next day delivery with our voices, and instruct robotic personal assistants to turn up the heating in our homes.

This world of interconnectivity, which offers great benefit to our everyday lives, relies on huge amounts of communication and data transfer between each device, network, and user.

There is lots of fear mongering surrounding this increasing interconnectivity with warnings of threats to our privacy and personal security. It is rare to see stories highlighting how certain technologies are protect us from dangers such as fraud, something that has a big impact on all of our pockets, whether we are a direct victim or not.

As research by the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies showed, fraud is a phenomenal problem, and costs the UK alone £190 billion (€212.93 billion) every single year: PwC’s 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey finds that 49% of global organisations say they’ve experienced economic crime in the past two years. While some fear that being so connected can put us at risk, in reality we can now isolate fraudsters quicker than ever, and tackle the problem head on.

Technology counters fraud

The fact of the matter is that there are now countless emerging technologies that can impact fraud. For example, the introduction of driverless cars will make a huge difference for insurers looking to get a comprehensive and detailed picture of risk.

Further, the sheer amount of people attempting to make fraudulent claims on their car insurance may ultimately be eliminated if driverless cars become the norm. It is hard to lie about the cause of an accident if the driver hasn’t had a significant role to play in its execution.

While we await the rise of autonomous cars, there are still ways to fight the ‘crash for cash’ schemes that cost the UK £336 million (€376.49 million) a year. Telematics has emerged in the last decade as a fail-safe way to detect and prevent fraud on a mass scale. Just like driverless cars, telematics can be used to understand and analyse driving data to help determine when a claimant is lying.

A single recent incident we dealt with could have cost the insurer we were working with up to £40,000 (€44840.06) without our intervention and insights. When a policyholder takes out a ‘blackbox’ insurance policy through which monitors how the car is driven, the insurer can refer to its blackbox provider for data analysis after an accident.

Evidence doesn’t lie

In this instance of fraud, we were able to determine the fact that the policyholder and two of the claimants knew each other, as policyholder’s blackbox showed that the person had visited each of the claimant’s homes in the days before the incident. Also, they had lied about how the collision had occurred. Further data analysis showed that one of the claimants had a history of being involved in an organised crime network or fraud ring.

A blackbox collects driving data, which is, in part, used by the insurer to determine how an accident occurred and can lower premiums too if its evidence shows the policyholder is a safe driver, rather than simply basing the costs on factors such as age or address. The blackbox also works to eliminate fraud, preventing honest drivers from being affected by rising premiums through fraudsters living in their area.

We have long worked on establishing an advanced technological model to ensure the data we collect is incredibly accurate. People are often surprised to hear we worked with Microsoft Azure (see video below) to develop a unique algorithm based on a combination of AI and machine learning. Exciting technology does not always need to be limited to the development of drones and robots.

In the world of insurance, technology is having a steady impact on fraud. Insurers are waking up to the different ways in which we can assess and access information, and are heading up technological developments, rather than shying away from them.

Telematics will be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how technology will come to fight and eliminate fraud, but for the time being, it is one of the only developments that utilises the potential of the digital age to really make a difference in the war on fraud.

For more information click here.

The author of this blog is Adam Gooch, commercial director, Insure Telematics Solutions

Published on July 31st, 2018