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4 Reasons Why Self-Driving Cars Are a Big Deal

Breakthroughs in self-driving car technology are becoming more frequent, but the concept might still seem very far-off. Before you brush off the idea of driverless cars, thinking it won’t apply to your own life anytime soon, think again. It’s looking pretty likely that autonomous technology will be available for the masses in the next decade or so! If you are wondering why this is such a big deal, here are four ways that self-driving cars will revolutionize the way we get around.

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  1. Taxis (and Uber and Lyft) will be a lot cheaper. Since the cost of a driver will be removed from the equation, it will be much less expensive to operate taxis and all ridesharing platforms. That means cheaper rides for everyone! Because of the lower prices, many people will opt to take taxis versus driving their own car, which means there will be fewer cars on the road. This also means less traffic and less demand for parking. The best news? This is one of the most likely scenarios to happen soon, as Uber and Lyft are key proponents of autonomous technology and already putting forth substantial efforts into its development.
  2. Lives will be saved. Self-driving cars won’t be capable of doing risky (and illegal) things like speeding or drinking and driving, which means there will be far fewer accident-related deaths. In 2013, car accidents killed 32,000 people, which means we could save close to that many lives with the intelligence of self-driving cars.
  3. There will be less pollution. While we don’t know the exact specifications of self-driving cars, it’s presumed that they will have substantial energy efficiency benefits. A new report from the Intelligent Transportation Society is one of the first to quantify the benefits and projects a 2-4% reduction in oil consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions each year as “intelligent transportation systems” become available to the masses.
  4. The elderly will have more mobility. Self-driving cars will make it easier for the elderly and those who are vision impaired to get around since they will no longer have to rely on a driver to take them places. This will give them the freedom to move around according to their own schedules.

It’s pretty clear that the introduction of self-driving cars could have a significant impact on our everyday lives. Here at Metromile, we are especially excited to see how autonomous technology evolves and develops, as we are positioned to adapt our per-mile insurance model. Because we are able to segment periods of time (like with our Uber partnership where we can identify if a driver is driving for Uber or personal use), we’ll be able to help distinguish between when a car is controlled by a human or a computer. And if per-mile insurance is truly a future-proof concept, why not get started and start saving money today? Learn more at metromile.com/insurance.

Predicting the Top Car Tech Trends

The past year was big regarding transportation innovations, and we anticipate 2016 to be even more momentous. As we look forward to a new year of breakthroughs, let’s take a look at the technology that is already paving the way.

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Consumers take control with the connected car.
The internet-of-things is in full force, and we don’t expect things to slow down anytime soon. One of the key drivers of this trend lies within the automobile industry, and connected car technology is already redefining the way we get around. In 2015, Microsoft, Google and Apple all announced plans for proprietary connected car platforms, bringing mobile phone functionality to your car’s console, signifying that this will likely become the norm very soon.

This technology has still not reached the masses, so if you don’t have one of the brand-new smart cars touting fancy touch screen dashboards or augmented reality, you can still enjoy the connected car experience with recent innovations. Gone are the days when you had to struggle with a clicker to open your garage, now the door can automatically open upon your arrival! In fact, the connected car industry, including apps specifically designed for cars and enhanced navigation, is estimated to grow to nearly $290 billion by 2020. Here at Metromile, we are definitely on top of this trend. All of our customers receive the Pulse, which plugs into a car’s OBD port to measure exact mileage and provide smart services like a car locator and a car health monitor. By using technology to measure exact mileage, we can save our low-mileage customers a lot of money.

The automotive industry capitalizes on big data.
Big data is another trend that continued to gain significant traction in 2015, and just like connected car technology, it is having a huge impact in the automotive industry. Manufacturers, insurers and transportation providers all have access to massive amounts of data, and if analyzed and applied correctly, can revolutionize the way they operate. Service and warranty repair data, user sentiment surrounding specific features and real-world vehicle performance are all things that can be measured to inform future car models. Even supply chain management can benefit from a better usage of big data — workflow software is already helping to uncover potential flaws while a car part is still in the blueprint stage. As Metromile’s CEO Dan Preston points out in a recent Huffington Post piece, the insurance sector is surprisingly antiquated when it comes to big data, but at Metromile, we are capitalizing on it by basing the monthly bill off of exact mileage.

The Best Car Tech Trends of 2015… and Now 2016

The past year was big regarding transportation innovations, and we anticipate 2016 to be even more momentous. As we look forward to a new year of breakthroughs, let’s take a look at the technology that is already paving the way.

car_technology_trends

Consumers take control with the connected car.
The internet-of-things is in full force, and we don’t expect things to slow down anytime soon. One of the key drivers of this trend lies within the automobile industry, and connected car technology is already redefining the way we get around. In 2015, Microsoft, Google and Apple all announced plans for proprietary connected car platforms, bringing mobile phone functionality to your car’s console, signifying that this will likely become the norm very soon.

This technology has still not reached the masses, so if you don’t have one of the brand-new smart cars touting fancy touch screen dashboards or augmented reality, you can still enjoy the connected car experience with recent innovations. Gone are the days when you had to struggle with a clicker to open your garage, now the door can automatically open upon your arrival! In fact, the connected car industry, including apps specifically designed for cars and enhanced navigation, is estimated to grow to nearly $290 billion by 2020. Here at Metromile, we are definitely on top of this trend. All of our customers receive the Pulse, which plugs into a car’s OBD port to measure exact mileage and provide smart services like a car locator and a car health monitor. By using technology to measure exact mileage, we can save our low-mileage customers a lot of money.

The automotive industry capitalizes on big data.
Big data is another trend that continued to gain significant traction in 2015, and just like connected car technology, it is having a huge impact in the automotive industry. Manufacturers, insurers and transportation providers all have access to massive amounts of data, and if analyzed and applied correctly, can revolutionize the way they operate. Service and warranty repair data, user sentiment surrounding specific features and real-world vehicle performance are all things that can be measured to inform future car models. Even supply chain management can benefit from a better usage of big data — workflow software is already helping to uncover potential flaws while a car part is still in the blueprint stage. As Metromile’s CEO Dan Preston points out in a recent Huffington Post piece, the insurance sector is surprisingly antiquated when it comes to big data, but at Metromile, we are capitalizing on it by basing the monthly bill off of exact mileage.

How Technology Will Revolutionize the Way we Get Around

There are a lot of cars on the road — 253 million to be exact. And the more cars there are on the road, the more chances there are for traffic, accidents and pollution. As cities begin to combat automotive saturation with new technology, it’s becoming pretty clear that fewer, yet smarter, cars is a key component of the future of transportation. To embark on a long trip, you could hop in a self-driving car, optimize the route to get to your destination as quick as possible, and also pick up a few passengers along the way. Many of these seemingly far-fetched concepts are already becoming a reality, which our CEO Dan Preston explores in a recent Medium article.

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The article highlights the three trends that we are already seeing progress with today: the rise of the ridesharing economy, new insurance models that incentivize driving less and the introduction of self-driving cars. As innovation is used to optimize the number of cars on the road and the way we drive, we should see the positive impact that having fewer, yet smarter, cars will have on our environment, economy and everyday lives. In fact, we recently ran a study with the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale and found that if everyone in the US reduced their driving by 6%, potential benefits could include saving 2,400 lives and $26 billion in accident-related costs

You can read the full article here, and stay tuned as we continue to investigate the latest trends in which technology meets transportation.