Smarter Mobility: Reconciling Society's Needs with Personal Desires
By Christoph Watterott, Underwriting Manager Property Switzerland / Italy
Accelerating urbanization makes it imperative to find solutions to our mobility problems. Smart mobility providers are working overtime to make traffic congestion, pollution, and climate change worries of the past. But enduring mobility solutions will be those which also satisfy our desires for comfort and ease.
Carmakers and suppliers are rolling out an unprecedented number of new technologies simultaneously. This creates myriad risks, many of them unknown. Legislation will spring up in different forms from country to country, especially before technologies become standardized. Government delays or regulatory changes could cause business interruption, inflicting significant losses when margins are already low. During this transitional period, economy of scale will have to be balanced by the experimental nature of new technology. Expert risk engineering will need to be paired with intelligent property, liability, and product recall insurance as well as strong crisis management, to protect innovators from unforeseen technological backfires.
Smart mobility will rely on a powerful, digitized, central command center. Within the next decades, mission control in big cities will seek to coordinate a coherent, smart-mobility network. Communication between the command center, trains, buses, signs, traffic lights, street sensors, cars, bicycles, and even pedestrians should allow authorities to optimize traffic and parking to minimize congestion, emissions, and danger. Of course, this high-level coordination will be subject to system malfunctions and malicious hacking. Cyber insurance is already standard, and will be adapted to address these risks. However, insurers need to enlist the help of cutting-edge IT experts to truly understand the risks, and match the coverage to the potential scale and probability of the exposure. Insurers will also expect common-sense backup plans to be in place in case technology fails.
This is a mobility revolution unparalleled in history. As we learn to integrate all of these green, automated, safe technologies into a smart-city network, the thrill of progress is only partially matched by the challenges we face.
The insurer’s role is to be as intelligent as smart mobility. Our goal is to protect and empower innovators, as they help us find urban mobility solutions that satisfy both our needs and our desires.
Click on the following links for next topic: