What you need to know and the latest news about the new mobility

Thanks to digital technologies and innovative services, the way we move around the city is changing profoundly. Smart mobility is already a reality and, in addition to the way we move and travel, it is also impacting on the insurance business, putting some products in crisis and demanding new ones

Published on 04 Mar 2019

Concetta Desando


A large platform that will deal with car sharing, ride-hailing, electric vehicle recharging, multi-modal transport and parking. In short, a platform dedicated to smart mobility. This is the BMW-Daimler project, a project that includes the merger between two protagonists of car sharing, car2go and DriveNow, already announced about a year ago by German car manufacturers. The new car sharing service resulting from this merger will be called Share Now, and the total investment in the joint venture is estimated at $1.13 billion. 

This is just the latest initiative in the area of new mobility. A concrete sign of the transformation in the way we use the car and move around, which is spreading also thanks to the use of digital technologies: today we move around the city renting cars on demand, using car sharing and bike sharing services, using new services and payment methods, driving electric or driverless vehicles. Smart mobility is already a reality and, in addition to the way we move and travel, it is also impacting on the insurance business, putting some products in crisis and demanding new ones. 

Smart mobility: what is it 

Smart Mobility is a high-tech, citizen-friendly, low environmental impact mobility. The term smart mobility includes a number of elements: technology, mobility infrastructure (parking, charging networks, signage, vehicles), mobility solutions (including new mobility models) and people. Smart mobility aims to offer a seamless mobility experience, from the first to the last mile, that is flexible, integrated, secure, on demand and cost-effective. The ultimate goal of introducing smart mobility in our cities is to reduce traffic and pollution, create smart and seamless traffic flows, and strengthen economies of scale to promote affordable mobility for all budgets. 

Smart mobility and insurance: what’s changing 

With the expansion of smart mobility, the insurance market for new styles of mobility will of course also change profoundly. Starting with the way the insurance premium is calculated, which obviously can no longer be calibrated by linking the individual, his or her age, profession and mobility habits to the individual vehicle as is the case today. Not to mention that in the future, with the advent of independent driving, things could become even more complicated. It is no coincidence that a couple of years ago, a Deloitte report wondered just when people stopped driving, who should be the object of the car insurance. And the answer is that insurers must (and will increasingly have to) rethink their role within the mobility ecosystem, and their relationships with drivers, owners and vehicles. Whatever policies insurance companies adopt to modulate premiums, the prediction is that, after a peak between 2025 and 2030, insurance costs will fall and be shared fairly evenly between personal cars, car sharing and autonomous cars. In the meantime, some companies are already starting to offer products designed specifically for smart mobility, such as “on demand” policies or integrated coverage that, in addition to mobility needs, cover, for example, home and family. Not only that. Companies are developing Instant Insurance solutions, customizable policies designed to meet new needs for multimodal and shared mobility. Instant Insurance follows the person and not the vehicle, allowing you to enjoy the freedom to travel and move around, using different means of transport, with all the security and tranquility of personalized protection. A product that meets the needs for assistance and insurance coverage that emerge mainly among young people, inhabitants of metropolitan areas and professionals who make short to medium distance business trips using multiple means. A phenomenon that is observed with the emergence of a new concept of mobility, increasingly multimodal, smart and shared, as well as increasingly widespread forms of use rather than possession. 

In short, in terms of insurance, smart mobility is a market yet to be fully explored. 

From smart mobility to sharing mobility 

A key component of smart mobility, and among the most interesting points for policies, sharing mobility – reports EconomyUp – is the phenomenon according to which transfers from one place to another, i.e. mobility, take place with shared means and vehicles: car sharing, bike sharing, scooter sharing, but also car pooling and similar modes of sharing. Business models inspired by the sharing economy and digital technologies are helping to create innovative ways of moving from one place to another: think of ridesharing and on-demand services such as Uber or Lyft or car or bike sharing programs. The ultimate goal is to make movements and flows more efficient and less polluting. 

According to data from the National Observatory Sharing Mobility, at the end of 2017 there were already 357 different shared mobility services spread throughout Italy, including bike sharing, carsharing, scootersharing, and other forms, such as carpooling and aggregators. A phenomenon that has already put 18.1 million Italians (28% of the population) in the possibility of using at least one shared mobility service, with peaks of 46% in the north. 

Smart mobility and big data: how mobility and transport change 

At the basis of the change that is affecting the world of transport are the big dates. In an interview with EconomyUp, Fabio Pressi, CEO of Infoblu, explained how mobility and transport change thanks to the increasing use of big data. “Mobility is no longer linked to the vehicle: today the user wants to move from point A to point B in the best possible way, without having to choose the vehicle, but through a solution that allows him to move saving time or money, or both – explains Pressi -. In recent years companies have taken steps to understand how to obtain data for mobility solutions and have begun to consider the vehicle as a sensor and from there to obtain traffic mapping. Technology is leading us to more complete and integrated information. We will no longer worry about whether there is traffic in a certain area, but there will be those who will automatically suggest the best personalized and different route for each of us. This is integrated mobility: people will emerge who can tell us that it is better to take the car for a certain stretch of road, and then leave it in a parking lot, get on the metro and maybe drive the last mile on a scooter”. 

Not only transport: the key points of smart mobility 

Smart mobility does not only mean alternative forms of transport, it is a wider and more complex phenomenon and is based on the following principles, which policies are also called upon to confront: 

  1. Flexibility: Multiple modes of transport allow the traveller to choose which one is the best in a given context;
  2. Efficiency: The traveller is able to get to his destination with minimum effort and in the shortest time possible
  3. Integration: The complete route is planned regardless of which means of transport are used.
  4. Clean technologies: From vehicles that cause pollution, we move towards zero-emission vehicles.
  5. Safety: Deaths and injuries are drastically reduced
  6. Accessibility: Everyone must have access to the different forms of Smart Mobility.
  7. Social benefits: Smart Mobility must contribute to a better quality of life.
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Concetta Desando

Due menzioni speciali al premio di giornalismo M.G. Cutuli, vincitrice del Premio Giuseppe Sciacca 2009, collabora con testate nazionali

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