Auto innovation could save thousands of lives and $35bn, but first we have to build the foundations

Everyone is talking about autonomous vehicles but to make it work the automotive industry needs to create a connected car ecosystem for over-the-air (OTA) software and data updates. A 2015 IHS Market report says OTA will save car makers worldwide more than US$ 35 billion by 2022 but, parking the financial incentive for a moment, OTA also enables critical vehicle-centric data to be sent and received.

How does that affect you? Well, this could impact everything from mitigating safety recalls to cybersecurity updates, from insurance benefits and vehicle diagnostics to connection with the smart home.

To find out what drivers and car makers can expect in the next few years, here Jeremy Cowan talks to Scott Frank, vice president of Marketing at Airbiquity in the US.

IoT Now: How far down the road are we today towards full Level-5 vehicle autonomy? And when will we experience it?

Scott Frank: We won’t experience fully autonomous driving, defined as SAE level 4 and 5, until at least 2030. But we do expect to see a significant uptick in public testing and closely managed rollouts of autonomous vehicles in selective commercial applications starting as early as late 2018.

Following that, automakers will begin a slow but steady increase in global autonomous vehicle production, which is projected to reach one million units annually by 2026. To put this volume into perspective, one million autonomous vehicle units represents 1% of 2016 total global light vehicle production.

IoT Now: What will be the benefits of this degree of autonomy? Can you attach numbers to this yet?

SF: Autonomous vehicles promise to have significant safety, efficiency, and environmental benefits. Because they will be loaded with sensors, autonomous vehicles will be able to detect road conditions and react much faster and more reliably than human drivers. Predictions for traffic accident reductions are greater than 50%, and a lot of lives and property damage will be saved.

Autonomous vehicles will also be more efficient because of access to massive amounts of real-time information such as road conditions, congestion, traffic signals, and weather that can be used to optimise trip routes saving both time and fuel. Since autonomous vehicles will be driving more efficiently and consuming less fuel, their carbon footprint will be much less than non-autonomous vehicles with emissions reductions forecasted to be as high as 60%.

Jeremy Cowan of IoT Now

IoT Now: The growing complexity of cars is leading to an increase in vehicle recalls which would be cut by over-the-air software (OTA) updates. What are the costs of not developing OTA software?

SF: Not developing and deploying OTA technology would literally leave billions of dollars of cost savings on the table, and automakers are very good at taking advantage of any cost savings opportunities they can. Updating software in a non-OTA enabled vehicle is a time-consuming manual process performed by the automaker during production or authorised dealers and service providers post-production. The cost to perform manual software updates have been estimated at $ 50 per half-hour of labour.

When you factor in multiple software updates per year per vehicle, […]

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Autonomous cars alter the playing field for auto insurance

Autonomous cars alter the playing field for auto insurance

Berg Insight, today released new findings about the effect of autonomous cars on auto insurance.

Several major trends are currently impacting the motor insurance market, which has resulted in higher competitiveness and new stakeholders on the market. The integration of telematics technology constitutes the latest revolution for the automotive insurance industry.

Telematics enables automotive insurers to improve pricing mechanisms based on actual driving data, gain better control of claims and differentiate their offerings to current and prospective policyholders.

Berg Insight is of the opinion that the next revolution of the motor insurance industry is expected to be the introduction of semi- and fully-autonomous vehicles. The total number of new registrations of autonomous cars is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62 percent from 0.2 million units in 2020 to reach 24 million units in 2030.

The active installed base of autonomous cars is forecasted to have reached about 71 million at the end of 2030. These figures include SAE Level 3 and 4 cars. As autonomous vehicles emerge, new challenges and opportunities surface for insurers.

One opportunity for insurance companies is for instance the risks related to the complex software embedded in the autonomous vehicles. Autonomous driving will furthermore transform mobility, remodel the concept of owning a car and open new opportunities for insurers specialised on products such as ride- and carsharing insurance.

Autonomous car technology is expected to develop significantly in the upcoming years and insurance companies must adapt to the market needs and the emerging technology.

“Innovations within semi-autonomous advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including safety-enhancing features such as emergency break assist (EBA) systems can already make policyholders eligible for sizeable discounts on traditional insurance”, said Martin Svegander, IoT/M2M Analyst, Berg Insight.

Increasing the share of driving automation to the point where the driver’s influence eventually becomes virtually negligible poses an interesting scenario from the auto insurance perspective. This scenario will create a range of complex regulatory challenges that can affect the insurance market profoundly.

“If the vehicles are truly autonomous, one can even argue that accident liability should be assumed by the OEMs and associated suppliers rather than the individual car owners”, continues Mr Svegander.

Berg Insight believes that insurance telematics technology will have a crucial role for risk analysis of accidents related to autonomous driving, not the least as a means to determine the liable party. Although cautious players within the insurance industry might argue that it will most likely take decades before autonomous vehicles replace conventional cars, the technology for self-driving cars is already making its way into today’s car models.

Mr. Svegander concludes:

“Autonomous cars are paving the way for the future and it is important for the insurance industry to take an active part of the revolution.”

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IoT Lowers Costs, Improves Risk Assessment For Auto Insurance Industry  

In a prior blog, “Internet of Things: Have We Come Full Circle?”, I explored some of the major transformations that were underway and have since significantly accelerated over the past couple of years. The auto industry, insurers, and drivers have been the major beneficiaries of this acceleration.

For decades, auto insurance companies have relied on an outdated underwriting model to assess driver risk and price premiums. Rather than basing rates on a customer’s driving track record, companies determine insurance rates based on factors that are either outside a drivers’ control (e.g., gender and age) or do not necessarily correspond with individual driving ability, like a credit score. Customers who fall into an arbitrary “safe driver” profile, for example, can still pose a significant risk on the road. Insurers that rely solely on these less relevant data sets to evaluate risk and determine insurance rates can neither effectively reduce costs nor offer relevant products and services to their customers. Usage-based insurance (UBI) solves this problem by monitoring drivers in real-time with their consent.

UBI uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor driving behavior, including speed and braking, and rewards safe drivers with lower premiums. The process is simple: insurance companies issue cellular IoT connected on-board diagnosis (OBD) modules to drivers, which then track and report data. Customers benefit from more personalized offers and greater premium cost transparency. Insurers benefit from better risk profiling and improved customer satisfaction.

UBI offers three major benefits:

  1. Accurate driver risk assessment. Telematics data provides a more comprehensive and realistic driver profile. A vehicle telematics device can capture and transmit a range of data, including time of day and journey duration, as well as more sophisticated information about a driver’s behavior, including acceleration, braking, and corner speeds, reports Ovum. This data can then be analyzed to determine a driver’s “safety and risk” profile, allowing insurance companies to reward good driver behavior and more accurately price policies based on driver risk profiles.
  1. Driver behavior modification and risk reduction. Sensor feedback can be used to modify driver behaviors that reduce the risk level, benefiting both carrier and driver as the policyholder. For example, auto insurers can analyze a driver’s feedback in real time, sending data to a smartphone that can reinforce positive driving behaviors (e.g., speed limit compliance) or alert drivers in real time when risky or dangerous driving patterns are detected.
  1. Lower customer premiums and increased customer satisfaction. “Pay how you drive” policies could result in a 40 percent reduction in premiums for drivers aged 18 to 23. That’s good news for drivers and insurance companies, who are facing increased competition for the safest drivers. As the UBI market matures, Business Insider predicts “safe drivers will flock to companies who provide a lower rate based on their driving habits”.

UBI models allow insurance companies to pivot away from broad demographic data pricing models, which are under increased legal scrutiny. In 2011 the European Union banned the use of gender-based pricing models for auto, life, and medical insurance, citing evidence that these models were discriminatory and not statistically sound. UBI models provide drivers with a fair rate that is reflective of their driving habits. While the use of gender or other demographic data has not yet been prohibited in the United States, insurance providers are proactively embracing alternative solutions that sidestep these hot button issues. Should discrimination laws change, insurance companies will be one step ahead and will not need to completely revise their pricing structure.

Win-win proposition: Lower rates, safer drivers, and fewer fraudulent insurance claims

Auto insurers like Progressive, Allstate, and State Farm are using IoT to monitor drivers’ habits, including changes in speed, how often they drive, and the time of day they drive, according to a 2015 BI Intelligence report. By 2020, more than 50 million U.S. drivers will have tried UBI insurance, per Business Insider estimates. By granting insurance companies permission to monitor their driving habits, drivers gain access to better premium rates. Embedded blockchain technology can add an additional layer of security and ensure trust concerns are addressed proactively.

As more insurance companies shift to a UBI model, fraudulent claims could also drop. Insurance Journal reported in May 2017 that the UBI model could bring greater clarity to the claims process. Insurance companies could use telematics data gathered in the minutes leading up to a crash to better assess the causes for the accident and determine the legitimacy of claims.

Next steps: Integrating IoT into your insurance model

LexisNexis reports that half of U.S. drivers will participate in UBI programs when asked, but many drivers are unaware that these programs exist. Whether your insurance company is interested in testing UBI on a small or large scale, don’t overlook the importance of reaching out to a captive and eager audience of current customers. Doing so can help your company gain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic insurance marketplace by lowering costs, improving risk assessment, and improving the overall customer experience.

By leveraging the power of IoT, insurance carriers can position themselves as comprehensive “risk managers” in the emerging insurance market.

Watch this video to see how SAP software enables usage-based auto insurance and supports telematics integration in reducing risk and loss ratios.

For more information on IoT, please visit SAP Leonardo Internet of Things (IoT): “Connecting things with people and processes, with real-time intelligence unique to each business.”



Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

MetTel Launches First IoT Single SIM that Auto Connects Devices to Strongest Signal

MetTel Launches First IoT Single SIM that Auto Connects Devices to Strongest Signal

Cloud-Connected Chip Securely Tracks Products, Connects Devices and Solves Real-Time Supply Issues with Largest Network of 650+ Carriers in 165 Countries.

The futuristic dream of the universal, invisible and always-on Internet of Things (IoT) is coming into view with the first SIM that intelligently roams to identify and automatically connect to the strongest signal globally, MetTel announced today.

MetTel, a fast-growing communications provider for businesses, has launched IoT Single SIM which ensures the best possible connectivity no matter the device or location, changing the game for supply chain complexity, retail issues, home health care and other industry challenges.

No other Single SIM can securely connect devices automatically to the IoT with the strongest signal via the four major US and 650 worldwide carriers, comprising the world’s largest communications network. The MetTel Single SIM offers real-time data on-session activity that provides a current view of product status and location on anything from a mobile phone to a jet engine. It also archives the past 48 hours of sessions for reference and analysis. Geo-fencing gives the MetTel IoT Single SIM the ability to proactively self-report when it has entered special zones or reached its destination, so businesses are making informed decisions with always-on mobile tracking, engineering and analytics.

The IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) market is growing exponentially. Gartner projected that, by this year, 8.4 billion connected devices would come online. To provide the best environment for this rapid growth, companies need to enable devices with the ability to connect instantly and adapt connectivity on the go.

Max Silber, vice president of mobility and IoT, MetTel, said:

“IoT Single SIM represents a breakthrough given its ability to securely connect and continuously report the progress of any product or component as it treks through the global supply chain.”

“The Single SIM is but one key part of the holistic approach MetTel takes to IoT. With always-on connectivity that isn’t dictated by device, carrier or location, this solution can effectively decrease mobility costs for major organizations, increase supply chain automation capabilities, and bring telehealth connectivity and deployment into rapid adoption. The net outcome is ensuring the overall business process of delivering a service or product is streamlined, efficient and profitable.”

MetTel serves as chief architect and general contractor working with a range of business partners including carriers, resellers and technology solution providers in a diverse, expanding ecosystem.

MetTel serves a wide range of clients across industries that are connecting integral assets to the IoT network including parking meters, computing devices, digital displays, and a range of equipment in industries such as retail, healthcare, energy, manufacturing and distribution, food and beverage. Industry use cases the company is already seeing take shape, include:

  • Automation in Supply Chain and Logistics – Impacts automation in manufacturing, in-warehouse visibility, enhances in-transit visibility by connecting sensors, devices and RFIDs, which allows for reduced costs, reduced assets lost, improved stock management, increased fleet efficiencies, and provides better insight between manufacturer and retailer.
  • Healthcare/Telehealth – Improves connectivity in remote locations, allows for all devices to connect and ensure faster deployment and up-time on pre-packaged devices, which ultimately provides better connectivity between patients and physicians, lower re-admission rates, earlier detection and overall cost improvements for healthcare organizations.
  • Energy & Utilities – Works to improve the systems in place by enabling better control of utilities through digital technologies and collected data, which enhances cost savings by integrating new, renewable systems that can improve uptime and decrease maintenance costs as well as improve the energy sector’s ability to offer innovative new services.

While IoT Single SIM currently resides on a hardware chip, it utilizes an eSIM-ready infrastructure. eSIM-based technology changes the way SIM profiles are managed. Conceptually, an eSIM can host multiple profiles and work with all form factors, morphing from one type of carrier SIM to another, thereby making it universal. Although the eSIM has not yet arrived on the market, similar capabilities can be realized today with the MetTel IoT Single SIM. The difference is that the eSIM’s self-contained IMSI identity marker allows it to autonomously shift forms while MetTel’s version boasts unlimited IMSI in the cloud, providing MetTel and its clients with greater control over the IoT Single SIM’s transformations from one carrier network to another.

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IoT Business News

TU Automotive announce Olli as ‘Best Auto Mobility’ winner


If you’re in the auto business, you’ll likely have heard of TU-Automotive. They work at the intersection of consumer electronics, mobile and IoT with a focus on connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles.  And as more and more of our transport moves in this direction, it’s a key area. On June 6 in Novi, Michigan, the organisation held their TU-Automotive Awards 2017.

TU Awards Winner Banner

The panel were challenged by over 400 entries this year and used the following categories to choose their winners:

  1. Innovation
  2. Industry Engagement
  3. User Experience
  4. Market Update

TU-Automotive announce Olli a winner

The Local Motors and IBM team were delighted to be named winners in the ‘Best Auto Mobility Product / Service’ category.

TU Automotive award winners Olli Local Motors and IBM Watson IoT

TU Automotive award winners: Olli’s Local Motors and IBM Watson IoT

If you’ve been following the Watson IoT blog, you’ll be familiar with Olli, the first self-driving cognitive vehicle, built by Local Motors with IBM’s Watson providing Olli’s unique, cognitive rider interface.  If Olli’s new to you, this ‘Meet Olli’ article, will give you all the details. You’ll find out about Olli’s creation through a call to 60,000 developers in a 2015 challenge in Berlin through to the 3D printed, zero emissions, electric-powered minibus that’s now being crowd-sourced to be even more accessible.

olli autonomous cognitive vehicle

The award-winning Olli cognitive self-driving vehicle

The TU-Automotive judges noted that:

“Olli was selected because it is providing an important reminder we need to stop thinking of cars in the same way. The judges also highlighted their strong industry partners & progressive technology.”

Jay Rogers, CEO, Local Motors was delighted to say:

“The future of mobility is rapidly upgradable products and services where the line between hardware and software is blurred. Often this new blur is hard for users to interpret. For Accessible Mobility this challenge is especially real. IBM Watson, Local Motors and others are working hard to bring this blurry line into sharp focus. This award is one major proof point which recognizes this positive focus.”

Thinking about cars in new ways

Thinking about cars in new ways is just one facet that both Local Motors and IBM have in common. As our world becomes more interconnected, the way we live and the way we move will become increasingly interwoven. The IoT opens up possibilities that we didn’t have before. It opens up transport to many people who previously would not have had access – a significant benefit to a vast number of people.

IoT extends mobility wider

With the judging criteria of Innovation, Industry Engagement, User Experience and Market Update – it’s great to see that Olli has been awarded this accolade. You can find out more about the awards and winners at TU Automotive and follow the conversation on Twitter at #TUAwards and #TUDetroit. If you’d like to learn more about AccessibleOlli you can find details at #AccessibleOlli and IBM’s IoT for Automotive site has details about Olli and many other exciting projects.

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