When asked why his company MACIF created the Community of Interest on Autonomous Vehicles, Yann Arnaud, Director of the Meeting Members Needs & Innovation division, explains the organisation’s ambition: “mobility for all, autonomy for all”. Although autonomous mobility tends to evoke the stereotypical image of a business executive sitting behind the wheel of a premium electric automobile, reading his newspaper while the car is driving itself, a shared electric autonomous shuttle is a much more stimulating concept when it comes to the public good.

Mobility for all, autonomy for all – MACIF is convinced that shared autonomous vehicles are a viable solution to promote inclusive mobility, particularly in rural and periurban areas. The Community of Interest examines autonomous mobility from an ecosystem angle. The objective of this open innovation laboratory is the deployment of autonomous vehicle solutions that promote the emergence of inclusive and sustainable mobility and have a positive impact on the environment.

Integrating autonomous vehicles into the public transport system – In spite of the fears that autonomous vehicles will increase urban sprawl and vehicle traffic, this type of solution is key in the fight against global warming. The environmental impact of autonomous vehicles will depend on the deployment strategies that will ultimately prevail. The first is the mass deployment of personal driverless cars, which would increase both traffic and pollution. It is the worst-case scenario. The second is on-demand mobility (such as driverless taxis), which would compete with public transport systems in large cities. The third and more virtuous scenario is the integration of autonomous shuttles and vehicles into the public transport system, which would result in the reduction of CO2 emissions.

The key social challenges of autonomous mobility – Reflections on the future of autonomous mobility have been limited to an urban framework, leaving periurban and rural areas in the dust. In fact, the need for mobility solutions in those areas has been largely neglected over the years. In France, fifteen million people see mobility as a problem in terms of access to employment, education and health. There are both social inclusion challenges (involving vulnerable groups such as the disabled and the elderly) and territorial inclusion challenges (the need to bridge the gap between large cities and rural areas).

Impact on the insurance industry – When it comes to the mass deployment of autonomous vehicles, insurance companies need to assess both individual risks (driving behaviours) and serial risks (problems with specific vehicle models). This risk will need to be shared among companies. Governments will be called upon not only to provide new mobility options but to regulate the deployment of autonomous vehicles and manage infrastructures.

Next steps – In 2020, the Community of Interest lead by MACIF performed an in-depth analysis of the environment in which autonomous vehicles could evolve, providing key insights into potential applications in the real world. The next step will be to pave the way for a live experimentation that will show how autonomous vehicles could be implemented in periurban or rural areas in cooperation with local authorities. The ultimate goals are to connect regions with city centres, foster access to mobility for vulnerable populations, and speed up the ecological transition towards sustainable transport systems.

Related content

‘Fair and Square’ Keeps Travelers Committed

19 May 2021

By Rémi Weiller, of Sopra Steria Next and Arnauld Marrou, of Sopra Steria Next

Engaging live programming revealed for Movin’On Summit 2021

29 April 2021

Announcing thought-provoking panels and talks, a new wave of world-class speakers, the Movin’On Startup Booster and a Global Youth Challenge