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From electric scooters to flying taxis: the new safety horizons

Italy starts its testing phase for micromobility equipment. The USA is working on lightweight air transportation units. Breakthroughs that will soon lead to the rise of new safety demands: better to get ready for straightforward and efficient solutions

17 Jul 2019

Giovanni Iozzia

Direttore di EconomyUp e InsuranceUp


A German startup is now testing flying taxis: from Manhattan to JFK in 6 minutes with less than $100 and little environmental impact, as the vehicle is self-propelled by electromotors. There is a driver therefore approvals and licences should be more easily available. The focus is on launching the service by 2025. Uber even thinks of anticipating Lilium, the Munich start-up, and has lined up the first tests for the coming year.   

It’s just one of the next and inevitable innovations that can disrupt the leading industries (automotive and transportation&mobility as well) but also the insurance ones, since undoubtedly there will be worries, concerns and risks not foreseen by the mainstream policy-makers so far. A major, above all an insurance company, is bound to work on the basis of specific regulatory frameworks, yet needs to be ready for situations that are more than likely every day.   

Regulations come (almost) always after innovation has been tested and in many cases brought to market. Let’s think, for example, about electric scooters that in Europe, and in Italy too, have been riding for months with local rules (as in Paris) or with no rules at all, as in Milan. In early June, the Minister of Transportation approved the decree on micromobility, which kicks off the testing phase. However, there is already fierce competition among several international players to win customers interested in moving quickly and slightly in the short urban journeys. It is about to get unfold, or rather it has already given rise to, an outstanding chance for insurance industry.   

Are electric scooters dangerous? The question is poorly asked. The latter are as dangerous as an electric bike, just we are used to living with bikes. The issue is obviously a matter of regulation (this type of vehicle is not yet provided for by the Highway Code: what is its proper venue?), culture (it will be worth having a good driving behaviour but also familiarity with their circulation) and business (what will be the reasonable cost for feeling safer onboard?).   

Italy is known to be an underinsured country. The onset of new risks, if dealt with innovatively (meaning simple, flexible and fast products) can be an opportunity to close the gap and develop a culture of security that will benefit everyone. 

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Giovanni Iozzia
Direttore di EconomyUp e InsuranceUp

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