Most manufacturers have announced plans to bring semi-autonomous vehicles to the market by 2020, but would you take your hands off your steering wheel while driving 100 km/h? 

How would insurers determine risk if drivers continue to have less influence on the control of vehicles? 

How would you behave if you were driving next to an autonomous vehicle? How will the relationship between auto insurers and manufacturers change when this technology is widely implemented? 

Here is a glimpse of the project team's progress so far. 

Our problem statement

Throughout this project, our main goal has been to explore how drivers will react to the boom of autonomous vehicles. The team's mid-project problem statement has been iterated to:

“Drivers today are uncertain about the adoption or

transition to autonomous vehicles”.

Focused on the barrier mentioned above, our conclusion is that the quicker drivers adopt autonomous vehicles today, the faster society can get past the “messy middle” transition period where vehicle collisions are projected to increase before dropping significantly when fully autonomous are widely adopted.

Hypothesis on the overall risk for auto insurers

90% of collisions today are caused by human mistakes.  A future with only partial adoption of autonomous vehicles would see the risk for auto insurance increase, given the uncertainty of how human drivers would react to self driving behavior. The hypothesis made was that the overall risk portfolio for auto insurers will reduce with the further adoption of self driving capabilities. 

One of the fore runners in autonomous vehicles is Tesla Motors, who introduced their auto-pilot autonomous technology in 2015.  Tesla recently partnered with AVIVA in Canada to launch their joint InsurMyTelsa offering. It will be interesting to see how insurance companies interpret risk as more autonomous vehicles hit the road. 

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Cookhouse Lab experiences the future of transportation at GM

Exploring the evolving relationships between insurers and auto manufacturers, the project team set up an experiential day with GM to learn more about their semi autonomous Cadillac CT6.  The team wanted to explore potential partnerships that would allow for collaborative efforts to make driving safe while providing drivers additional peace of mind. 

Working towards a minimum viable product (MVP)

With insight from one of the main auto manufacturers, the project team is looking to iterate on their minimum viable product to incorporate the following:

  • A new and adaptive multi-factor autonomous vehicle risk rating that would have a dependency on the level of autonomy adopted
  • The valuation of the proposed solution to evaluate business viability
  • New ownership models that would move the autonomous vehicles conversation to autonomous transportation

In the 1960's, the Jetsons graced the small screens of families around the world.  Although I wasn't around for the initial broadcast, I was fortunate enough to watch reruns.  I didn't own a car or even a license, but I was fascinated by how Elroy, the young boy on the show, was able to travel throughout his day without the need to drive.  Elroy was able to do this by utilizing self piloted personalized pods.  Close to 60 years later, we are finally on the verge of significant self driving capabilities in vehicles but there are still some intrinsic barriers in place and many questions to answer. Stay tuned for our final project MVP! 

Project Participants

  • Munich Re
  • KPMG
  • Wawanesa Insurance
  • The Co-Operators
  • RSA
  • IBC

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