The Future of Connected & Autonomous Vehicles: Practical Implications and Strategic Considerations

New blog and report by Mark Breading and Karen Pauli, Strategy Meets Action

Boston, MA (Apr. 3, 2019) – What might a future world look like where all transportation is via autonomous vehicles?

Although we might be decades away from this vision, there are useful insights to be gained for today’s strategies in thinking through the possibilities.

While I don’t personally own a crystal ball, this blog floats some ideas regarding what the future may hold.

In the meantime, SMA’s latest research report, Connected Vehicles and Insurance: Ten Strategic Considerations, provides some practical advice for insurance strategists today by identifying the potential value levers in the evolving connected vehicle area and exploring ten strategic questions.

With that as background, here are ten predictions for the future of transportation:

  1. Vehicle ownership by individuals will be so rare that people will need to visit theme parks for the “experience” of driving a car.
  2. People will be able to summon autonomous vehicles on demand for travel anywhere on the planet.
  3. Autonomous vehicles will be everywhere on land, sea, air, and underground – none will require drivers or operators. (For example, drone taxis will fill the skies.)
  4. Travel times will be significantly reduced as speed limits increase and high-speed transportation dominates. Very high-speed travel will be common via Hyperloop, supersonic aircraft, or high-speed rail.
  5. The physical infrastructure for travel will be substantially different: no signage, no traffic controls, and no fuel stations. And the whole system of roadways will be transformed, with no need for median strips, lane markers, etc.
  6. All land-based vehicles will be powered by electricity and recharged directly from the road surface.
  7. The urban/suburban balance will change once again, with a concentration of individuals in mega-smart cities combined with new forms of living spaces and communities in rural/satellite areas. (Think about what could be done with all the garage space in residences when individuals do not own cars.)
  8. Vehicles of all types will be real-time, information-rich machines with augmented reality, virtual reality, and instant access to information/entertainment content.
  9. Vehicular accidents will be virtually eliminated, but when accidents do occur, they will be mega-accidents. (Imagine a software glitch or a freeway hack that causes pileups of hundreds of vehicles.)
  10. The variety of vehicles for transporting both people and goods will be astonishing, ranging from individual travel pods to gigantic vehicles transporting thousands of people at a time.

Also not to be forgotten is the complete reshaping of the industries that build vehicles, sell and service them, and, of course, insure them. The journey to this future (or something like it) is highly uncertain in terms of timing and eventual outcomes; however, there is little debate that we are in the beginning stages of monumental transformation. And the implications for the insurance industry couldn’t be greater. With that in mind, we have produced a more pragmatic research report aimed at identifying ten considerations for insurance strategists that can be used to inform current strategies and used over time to gauge the speed and direction of transformation in the transportation world. Be sure to read Connected Vehicles and Insurance: Ten Strategic Considerations for some down-to-earth inspiration.

Connected Vehicles and Insurance: Ten Strategic Considerations

Technology and societal trends are transforming the way that people and goods are moved from one place to another. We are in the early stages of a transformation that will completely reshape the transportation landscape. It is easy to envision a future where every vehicle is autonomous. It is much more difficult to assess the implications and timing of that long journey. This report raises the discussion to a strategic level by identifying the areas of potential value and posing ten questions that insurers should explore to understand the implications for their businesses.

Connected Vehicle Value Areas (SMA)

Connected Vehicle Value Areas (SMA)

Click here for the table of contents or to purchase the report.

About the Authors

Mark Breading, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methods and his ability to incorporate InsurTech and emerging tech into business strategies are unparalleled. Mark also leads SMA’s research program, has overseen the publication of over one hundred research reports, and directed custom research projects for insurer and tech clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, emerging technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him rankings as a “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the 10 finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”

Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM, where he co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing, and business strategy and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.

He is a frequent speaker at industry events; an InsurTech mentor with the Global Insurance Accelerator; and a frequent contributor of articles to Insurance Thought Leadership, Insurance Networking News, LOMA Resource, and many other industry publications.

Karen Pauli, Principal at SMA, has comprehensive knowledge about how technology can drive improved results, innovation, and transformation within insurance operations. Karen has worked extensively with insurers and technology providers to reimagine processes and procedures to change business outcomes and support evolving business models. Her areas of focus include underwriting, claims, business intelligence and analytics, data sources, agency distribution, and customer management. Karen’s real-world experience with digital transformation projects has given her unique insight into the changing customer and distributor experience in the digital age. In her more than 30 years at insurance companies, and in the technology research and advisory space, Karen has developed her talent for aligning business goals and perspectives with technology roadmaps to create competitive advantage.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)