While the 10.8% year-on-year rise in car registrations in 2013 provided a welcome boost for the country’s economy, the sale of an extra 600 cars each day also brought other, perhaps less immediately obvious, benefits.
In addition to the attractive financial offers available, one of the key factor driving these sales was an increased demand for more technology advanced cars, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This reflects the increased importance of innovative vehicle design and the connected car – in other words, vehicles equipped with in-built mobile technology that enables drivers to find parking spaces, receive coupons for restaurants in the vicinity or view directions to their destination, quickly and easily.
Already, the first driverless vehicle has gone on sale at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With the introduction of the Navia, which navigates its way using laser-based light detection and ranging sensors, Induct Technology stole a march on Mercedes, BMW and Lexus, who are also developing driverless vehicles.
From 2015, Milton Keynes will introduce a driverless public transport system, with passengers able to hail pods using a smartphone app, and to check their emails or browse the internet on a large touchscreen.
The 20 trial pods will include steering wheels or joysticks for control but, when the full system is launched in 2017, it will rely on GPS, high definition cameras and ultrasonic sensors for navigation.
While it will be some time before such driverless vehicles become commonplace on the roads, the connected car is already the third fastest growing technology, with only tablets and phones ahead of it. The eCall initiative, which is intended to bring rapid assistance to motorists involved in an accident, will require all new cars sold in Europe to have network connectivity by 2015, and some bigger brands will offer this in every vehicle sold by the end of this year.
As cars become more connected, manufacturers and technology companies will be looking to deliver innovative solutions that make the most of telematics. At SSP, we have created SoteriaDrive in conjunction with Wunelli, which records motorists’ driving behaviour and enables them to benefit from both feedback on their driving performance and potentially lower premiums.
For Insurers, SoteriaDrive will also help validate and speed up claims, and help reduce fraudulent ones, thereby streamlining the claims process.
However, it is not just cars that are becoming more connected. As more and more households fill with systems, devices and physical objects all talking to one another and the wider world, the connected home is becoming a greater possibility. Furthermore, while 0.9 billion objects were connected by sensor-enabled technology – known as the Internet of Things – in 2009, this is set to leap to 30 billion by 2020.
Already, telematics is enabling insurers to learn more about people and the way they behave, making it easier to profile the risks involved and tailor premiums accordingly. As the Internet of Things proliferates, there is the potential to apply this technology to sensors located in all products with a price over, say, £100, including jewellery and pieces of clothing, for enhanced security and peace of mind.
Indeed, as the development of telematics continues, it is likely to be used in ways that are unimaginable now – making the future very exciting indeed.
About the author
SSP is a global provider of technology systems and solutions across the entire insurance industry, using our expertise to enable our customers to transform their business and increase their profitability. SSP provides core technology solutions, distribution and trading capability, advanced analytics and solution delivery. We work with 8 of the top 10 UK insurers, 4 of the top 10 global insurers and over 40% of UK Brokers. Our unique position in the market, including the largest market share of UK e-trading, enables us to provide leading data insight and unrivalled distribution. Our knowledge, talent and technology capabilities deliver innovative results that make us the partner of choice for our customers.
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