Rohan Malhotra, Roadzen CEO – Driving Insurance Innovation, Unveils AI, Telematics, and Future Trends in Auto Insurance

In the dynamic arena of auto insurance, CEO Rohan Malhotra of Roadzen leads a revolution fueled by AI and telematics. Drawing from a background in robotics and a decade of AI expertise, Rohan founded Roadzen after a personal encounter revealed the industry’s need for innovation. Today, Roadzen stands at the forefront, pioneering computer vision and generative AI to transform the insurance landscape for global players like Axa and Allianz. In this interview, Rohan offers insights into Roadzen’s pioneering technologies and collaborative efforts with industry giants, envisioning a future where AI and connectivity redefine automotive safety and efficiency.

Rohan, could you start by sharing your history with AI and the genesis story of Roadzen and what specifically catalyzed you to focus on AI within the auto insurance industry?

I was drawn to robotics at an early age and have always been intrigued by the prospect of creating autonomous machines. This fascination with robotics served as my gateway into the field of computer science. As I learned more, I recognized that hardware can be abstracted into software, which fostered a keen interest in constructing learning systems. I studied robotics, stochastic processes, and AI during my time at Carnegie Mellon, which gave me the toolkit to start building AI products—something I’ve been doing for the better part of a decade now.

Roadzen was born from a friend’s accident in 2015. I remember standing for hours on the road, trying to get his insurance claims filed and his car towed to a nearby garage. The epiphany that ordering food or hailing a cab from the comfort of your home was easier than filing a claim in a desperate situation on the road inspired me to start a company addressing these challenges.

Today, Roadzen stands as a global leader at the intersection of AI, insurance, and mobility, with a deep commitment to making a real-world impact by redefining the legacy auto insurance industry using innovations that prioritize road safety, precision pricing, and fast claims resolution.

Roadzen is recognized for its pioneering computer vision research and generative AI. Could you elaborate on how these technologies are currently enhancing the auto insurance experience for companies like Axa and Allianz?

Roadzen is leveraging computer vision and generative AI to enhance the auto insurance experience for insurers in several impactful ways. Telematics and computer vision are central to this transformation. With the rise of connected vehicles, these technologies are reshaping both the automotive and insurance industries.

Computer vision utilizes in-vehicle cameras to “see” and interpret visual data, providing real-time alerts for distracted driving and potential collisions, thereby promoting safer driving habits. AI-powered telematics monitors driver behavior, vehicle performance, and environmental factors in real time, analyzing data to predict hazards and offer proactive warnings to reduce accidents. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) employ sensors and cameras to assist drivers with features like automatic braking and lane-keeping assistance, mitigating human errors and reacting swiftly to prevent collisions. Computer vision and telematics focus on long-term driver behavior improvement, while ADAS provides immediate accident prevention. Together, these technologies create a comprehensive safety net.

Our AI platform analyzes extensive vehicular data to profile driving behavior and history, enhancing risk assessment, fraud detection, and future event forecasting. This enables personalized and accurate insurance products, with fair and transparent underwriting. It also streamlines claims processing by allowing drivers to remotely take real time video and images of vehicle damage in the event of an accident, which AI then processes to appraise the damage, verify the claim and trigger roadside assistance automatically. This speeds up response times, reduces fraud, and ensures accurate appraisals for quicker settlements.

Overall, our AI innovations lead to a safer, more efficient, and fair auto insurance experience, benefiting both insurers and policyholders.

Considering Roadzen’s extensive work with telematics, can you explain how telematics technology not only aids in underwriting and claims but also plays a role in promoting road safety?

Telematics aids in underwriting, claims, and promoting road safety through connectivity and data-driven insights. This continuous monitoring of acceleration, braking, cornering alongside the simplistic variables of speed, mileage, routes, and usage gives insurers a detailed view of a driver’s risk profile.

This comprehensive data collection enables more accurate and fair pricing policies. Safe driving is rewarded with better rates, encouraging behavioral changes across the board. Telematics thus enables transparent and equitable insurance policies while actively promoting road safety by encouraging responsible driving habits. In accident events, telematics becomes crucial by relaying essential data to expedite emergency responses and streamline claims processes. Real-time alerts help drivers practice safer driving.

The increasing connectivity of vehicles is vital for developing insurance solutions tailored to the growing market of electric and autonomous vehicles. Through these multifaceted applications, telematics not only enhances the efficiency of insurance operations but also significantly contributes to road safety.

Roadzen has a notable collaboration portfolio, including names like Tata and Audi. How do these partnerships enhance your capabilities and what do they bring to the table in terms of advancing your technological solutions?

Roadzen’s partnerships with industry leaders like Tata group owned Jaguar Land Rover, Audi, and insurers like Axa, Allianz and others, allows us to deploy our technology to benefit consumers on a wide scale. Our collaborations with clients are focused on listening to their biggest problems and using our technology to resolve them. Additionally, most of our enterprise clients are global in nature, and success in one geography allows us to expand into other countries with them.

Our collaboration with leading OEMs also provides valuable access to advanced vehicle platforms and sensors, aligning with our goal of enhancing road safety and insurance processes through technology. Their high-tech infrastructure supports the integration of our AI and telematics solutions, ensuring seamless operation within sophisticated vehicle systems. 

Together, our partnerships with world’s leading insurers, fleets, carmakers, brokers and insurance agents enable us to push the boundaries of auto insurance, offering more precise, efficient, and user-friendly solutions that benefit all stakeholders.

Looking towards the future, what emerging technologies or trends do you see as pivotal in the next evolution of AI in insurance and other sectors?

Looking to the future, telematics and computer vision will continue to impact the mobility ecosystem. The rapid connectivity of electric vehicles, non-EVs, and traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will generate valuable data from built-in telematics control units. This data will enable personalized and efficient insurance solutions, fostering the rise of embedded insurance and digital insurance distribution as industry standards. Promoting road safety and fair insurance coverage through personalized premiums and real-time alerts will cultivate a culture of responsibility on the roads.

As connected vehicles become more prevalent, the convergence of AI and connectivity will reshape both the mobility and insurance industries, paving the way for a safer future.  The next two decades will see a universal shift towards electric and green vehicles, with advancements in autonomy and shared mobility. Cars will communicate with each other and infrastructure, necessitating secure identity systems for autonomous vehicles. Innovations in in-car payments, entertainment, and e-commerce will become integral to auto insurance business models.

Connected car data, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and video telematics will significantly reduce road accidents and provide public benefits. Protecting vehicular data and consumer privacy will be paramount, driving stronger in-car cybersecurity innovations.

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