Last week we talked about how Millennials and others are turning away from car ownership and what it might mean to auto manufacturers and insurance. Today we’ll talk about how this trend could change as tomorrow’s vehicles get smarter and more connected.

People love technology. A recent study by the Frog consulting group found that 30 percent of people would rather give up their car than their smart phone, a figure that can only increase as mobile technology becomes more entrenched in our society. That’s why automakers are finding ways to marry the traditional car to the Internet of Things in ways that combine autonomy with ubiquity.

At last month’s 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automakers unveiled products that reflect this concept:

  • Chevrolet’s all-electric Bolt is totally connected to homes, smartphones and other vehicles.
  • The BMW iVision Future Interaction is a concept car that includes autonomous drive function and touch technology, allowing drivers to navigate with the wave of a hand.
  • Mitsubishi’s Emirai concept car uses a cloud-based application to analyze a driver’s history and their current actions to detect fatigue. Using a camera and a heart rate monitor, the car tracks its driver’s current physical state and even suggests rest stop locations if fatigue is evident.

Although most of the vehicles are still in the concept stage, the rapid advance of the Internet of Things makes the hookup between cars and everything else inevitable. For insurance, this means rethinking traditional auto products—but also could open up new horizons for more car ownership and innovative products.

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