Mark is a Partner at ReSource Pro Consulting.
CES has become one of the biggest auto shows in the world—but rather than focusing on new models and styling, the orientation is toward the most advanced technology capabilities and the user experience. Among the many sessions and exhibits featured this year, I spotted four interrelated themes. I discuss these trends in this blog, which will be followed by a second part examining the implications for property and casualty insurers.
- Mobility explosion
There continues to be an expanded emphasis on moving people and goods—whether on land, air, sea, and even space—via new and enhanced modes of transportation. This is true for both public and private forms of transportation, whether traveling across the world, across town, or across the room.
Micro-mobility is especially important and is growing rapidly. There were so many displays of electronic bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, golf carts, and other devices for individuals, along with electric and/or autonomous vehicles for public transportation or commercial use. And those are just the ones for movement on land.
Flying cars (yes, they are becoming real), autonomous vessels, and electric airplanes were also featured. Especially interesting with a potentially large impact was the first all-electric commuter aircraft by Eviation. These aircraft are targeted initially at short flights from small regional airports (24% of all flights are less than 250 miles and thousands of small regional airports are underutilized today).
- Electrification acceleration
The move to electronic vehicles (EVs) is inexorable and gaining steam. You probably would not need to visit CES to identify this trend. EV legislation is expected to accelerate the market away from gas-powered vehicles.
As evidenced in the discussion of the mobility explosion, most of the new mobility options have an electric-first design approach, which will force insurers to think about new coverage options and liability implications in the future. The critical success factor for broader adoption over time will be the build-up of the charging infrastructure—and there were new options and partnerships announced in this space as well.
- Sustainability focus
The move to electrify transportation is aimed at sustainability, although the design and manufacturing of new types of vehicles and vessels have other sustainability dimensions. The notion of circularity is emerging in the vehicle manufacturing world. In its ultimate form, it dramatically reduces or eliminates the consumption of finite resources through recycling and reusing materials. Reducing pollutants is also a vital aspect of sustainability and circularity.
- Digital experience
For several years, a major theme among OEMs has been to enhance the in-vehicle experience through digital capabilities. This may take the form of augmented reality heads-up displays, enhanced voice commands, and access/integration with social media, commerce, and digital payments.
What do all these trends and developments mean for the insurance industry? Part two of this blog series will explore the implications for the P&C insurance industry.
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