Connecting your car is essentially an extension of your connected life.

Helping Your Consumers Understand the benefits of connected cars

Manufacturers are rolling out cars with new connected capabilities and digital services daily, as well as offering opt-in connected servicing with remote diagnostics. As an automotive professional, you’ll be faced with a growing number of questions around these new technologies – consumers will want to know how they work, what the benefits are and of course, any disadvantages.

First, it’s important to note that the connected car can extend to life well beyond the vehicle. Connecting your car is essentially an extension of your connected life. The Internet of Things allows all things to be connected, and our cars are no different. So what does the connected car life look like?

Essentially, connected cars are sharing valuable information for drivers that can help not only improve road safety, but increase the value and lifetime of a vehicle, enhance the overall driving experience and allow a driver to connect to – and protect – many other elements of their life, right from their vehicle. The car will become more important than ever as it becomes almost like the “mother ship” of our connected lives.

The connected car benefits consumers in many ways:

  1. Insurance Discounts and Service – driving data provided from connected cars will continue to strongly influence the predictability of whether a consumer will have an insurance loss or not. Telematics is now an important factor in the determination of insurance premium pricing, allowing consumers to get better rates based on their own driving, rather than the driving behaviors of a group of “like” drivers (based on age, region, etc.). Telematics data provides insurers with context about how a person drives and presents insurers with the opportunity to rate risk more accurately and offer Usage Based Insurance (UBI) programs. In addition, telematics connectivity allows for the engagement of insurance consumers with value propositions beyond the insurance paradigm (e.g. loyalty programs, vehicle diagnostics, location based services), strengthening customer satisfaction and retention.
  2. Personalized Driving Experience – from improved mapping data, in-vehicle Wi-Fi or Local Area Network hotspots, smartphone interfaces, weather alerts and traffic conditions, the connected car is truly focused on the individual driver and their journey.
  3. Vehicle Diagnostics & Service – fuel efficiency, maintenance needs, tire and brake health, fluid alerts and more are taken to a new level with telematics. Connected cars can alert drivers to regular maintenance needs and tie into a services plan with preferred dealers, creating an appointment with just one touch of a screen. Dealers can carry out remote diagnostics through the vehicle in advance of a visit, decreasing customer wait time in house, and increasing the efficiency of service.
  4. Road Safety – connected cars can alert drivers to road closures, detours and conditions with enough advanced warning to avoid unpleasant trips. They can also automatically sense and prevent potential collisions based on external factors, as well as recognition of the driver’s behaviors. Emergency call functions are built in and eventually connected cars will also be able to monitor and assess a driver’s health and awareness – avoiding fatigue-based crashes, for example.
  5. Crash and Claims Support – speaking of crashes, connected cars have the ability to immediately recognize a crash, allowing insurance companies to rapidly react to an accident, moments after it has happened, so that contact can be made with the policyholder in a proactive way (outbound vs. inbound). The objective is to collect as much information as possible and “freeze” the crash scene. FNOL data is immediately sent to insurance companies, allowing them to process the claim more efficiently for the consumer, as well as immediately send a rental car while towing away the damaged vehicle. Overall, consumers will experience less headache and improved customer service from insurance companies in the event of a crash, as they act as a true a partner instead of a commodity provider. Touching base at the first moment of crash can also help avoid fraud attempts and third party interferences.
  6. V2E – dubbed “vehicle to everything,” V2E can enable drivers to connect with just about everything else in their life, including family, friends, home and office. Drivers can sync up wearables to control door locks, track a driver’s alertness, and even warn them of upcoming hazards and the need to pay attention and take stronger control of the wheel. Voice commands and hands-free controls allow drivers to remotely control not only their car but also items in the home such as an alarm system, lighting, garage door or HVAC system. Imagine you’re driving home from a long holiday trip, it’s snowing and you ask the car to turn on the driveway lights and home heat so the house is warm when you arrive.

The connected car is truly part of the burgeoning IoT phenomenon, enabling consumers to benefit in many ways, both inside and outside of the vehicle. As an automotive professional, you’ll have the advantage of testing out many of these innovations first. Knowing what’s on the horizon can help you to educate consumers and support them as they buy into this new frontier of automotive technology.

Nino Tarantino is the North American CEO of Octo Telematics, the global leader insurance telematics provider. Under his leadership North American operations exceeded 1.5 million connected users just four years after its launch in 2011. Nino is also Board Director of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) and is a frequent speaker at industry events on subjects such as usage based insurance, telematics and crash and claims management. He was previously General Manager of Acotel USA, operating in the mobile premium content and value added services sector and VP of Business Development at Anoto Group AB, a global leader in digital writing solutions. Connect with him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @ninotarantino.

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