With Road Safety Week coming to an end, we thought we’d show our support for this important issue by sharing some thoughts on how the future could play out in this area. With automation becoming increasingly prevalent in the automobile world, we believe that the future is increasingly bright and that there are strong reasons for optimism when considering human safety.
The Internet of Things, and the generation of mass data that accompanies this, allows for fairer, more transparent, motor insurance which relies on observed behaviour rather than reported behaviour. Used correctly, this can only be a good thing. The end result will see the incorporation of wide-ranging contextual information (weather, traffic, road familiarity etc) allowing insurers to build up a full picture of driving behaviour and risk – not to mention accidents and claims. We are already starting to see the formation of connected policies that encourage and reward safer driving, and this will only continue to develop into the future. Telematics has already started on this journey but there is potential to go much further.
With this information at their fingertips, insurers will be one of many organisations that have the opportunity to contribute to a safer road environment. Encouraging safer driving in return for lower premiums will be one thing. Recognising and addressing previously unknown patterns of risk will be another. With risk hotspots identified, measures can be taken and lives saved. In short, insurers have the potential to become assurers and play an increasingly valuable role in the lives of their customers.
Looking further into the future, automated cars will ensure that risk is diminished even further. Machine learning and hyper-connectivity will take critical decisions out of the hands of human beings, hopefully resulting in far fewer accidents, not to mention fewer traffic jams and delays. Pollution will also be reduced as traffic flow is optimised and intelligent parking systems allow drivers to locate spaces remotely, avoiding unnecessary drive time.
But in order to realise all of these benefits and more, the data generated by vehicles will need to be leveraged en masse and translated into human language. This will be achieved through intelligent algorithmic software and open systems that are able to ingest data from myriad different sources. Currently, the vast majority of insurers and other organisations do not have the ability to do this. Once they acquire the technology, progress will be made and safety on our roads will dramatically improve.