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How car-related IoT data will transform the automotive and insurance industries

As connected car platforms are integrated into more vehicles this year, the automotive and insurance sectors will find additional opportunities to glean valuable customer data, resulting in more optimized services and offerings.

With major manufacturers such as Ford and Hyundai increasingly leveraging mobile to augment their in-vehicle platforms, a slew of other automotive brands are set to follow in their footsteps, for a number of reasons. Firstly, having an Internet of Things-equipped vehicle will likely be a major selling point for many digitally-savvy consumers this year, while secondly, automakers and insurance companies will be able to use individual drivers? data to continue perfecting mobile-enabled services and consequently sell more products and services.

?The Internet of Things is becoming a significant player in the auto industry due to the ability to collect data on all activities and constantly monitor health of vehicle,? said Bryan Minor, chief scientist at Acquisio. ?Also, integration of LCD screens, Internet connectivity and integration with apps is allowing the user to never lose connectivity with his or her Internet life.

?The ability to perform system level upgrades (ad demonstrated at scale by Tesla) allows for users to skip many trips to the dealership,? he said. ?App integration of this information allows for much deeper involvement of the user with his or her car, transforming the level of knowledge and level of interaction.

?Choosing to share this IoT information on car activity is also an opportunity for the insurance industry to further refine its offerings and truly reward the best drivers. Lastly, there is an opportunity with this car-related IoT information to refine the emergency response system. Coupling the car system performance data with activity will allow for many emergency situations to be identified when they occur and allow immediate response; this will save lives.?

The safety bonus
It is safe to say that hordes of consumers will be expecting new vehicles to come equipped with various connected platforms this year, especially following several major brands? recent initiatives in this field.

Ford Motor Company is implementing Apple?s Siri Eyes-Free capability into the more than five million vehicles equipped with the automaker's Sync connected software, enabling customers to easily access a slew of iPhone features while driving (see story).

Additionally, Ford?s 2017 Escape SUV will include the Sync Connect platform, which lets drivers remotely start and unlock their cars, use a lane-keeping system and enjoy adaptive cruise control.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is paving the way for automotive manufacturers seeking to cater to mobile-savvy car owners by rolling out an augmented reality manual app that brings accessible how-to information to smartphones (see story).

Consumers with safety concerns will find much to like with these new offerings. The automotive industry?s newfound reliance on the Internet of Things seeks to make driving and traveling an easier, more enjoyable experience.

While individuals will need to relinquish some of their personal data in order to use these services, the bonuses are well-positioned to outweigh any wariness regarding security.

?From our experience, any security concerns consumers may feel will be quickly dissipated by the huge benefits of the technology,? said Rachel Pierson, global director of strategic accounts at IgnitionOne. ?In fact, millennial car shoppers have come to expect connectivity and technology.

?More than any other new capability in recent memory, connected car platforms have the potential to most change how people interact and rely on their cars as an information hub. This embrace of connectivity and technology by both the auto manufacturers and consumers is happening across all points of the relationship, from offline and online marketing, to mobile communications, to the showroom experience ? throughout the customer life cycle.?

Therefore, car manufacturers who have not yet delved into the Internet of Things will likely find themselves at a disadvantage. Millennial car shoppers will be on the lookout for technology-equipped vehicles, and can easily browse another auto brand?s models if they are unimpressed with their first choice maker.

Tackling insurance woes
Another positive effect from the rise of connected cars is the fact that insurance companies will be able to leverage additional data and use it to refine their services. While mobile has already begun playing a larger role in insurance marketers? ? such as Geico?s ? offerings, there will be more opportunities to offer rewards for good driving and safety-keeping measures.

This gradual shift will require insurance brands to keep up with connected car platforms, and potentially partner with select automakers in a bid to make their services even more accessible to consumers.

?Increasingly the car (axle and four wheels) is becoming commoditized,? said Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile. ?The ambient interior can be carried as a profile on your smartphone. It can be entered in your connected car dashboard.

?If I can move my identity (movies, music, books, temperature and lighting preferences) between vehicles, the car becomes less valuable than my profile,? he said. ?This is increasingly the case in a shared economy.

?If car manufacturers do not create a sticky digital play that is modular, they will lose value and positioning.?