Student consulting team examines impact of autonomous vehicles on insurance industry

This semester, students in Associate Professor Yoo-Seong Song's Applied Business Research class (IS 540) worked with COUNTRY Financial at the Research Park on a project examining the impact of autonomous vehicles and smart cities on the insurance industry. The student consulting team's research provided the company with a glimpse of how the additional liability autonomous vehicles bring would change the landscape of the insurance industry.

"We did extensive competitor research to see how the various players in the auto insurance market are tackling these issues," said Simran Wig, who served as the team's project manager. "Our recommendations to COUNTRY Financial were a series of steps based on a 10-year timeline and multiple phases, suggesting the best possible ways to adapt to the dynamically changing property and casualty insurance industry with autonomous vehicles and smart cities."

BIG student consulting team and COUNTRY Financial
Nishi Mehta, Devanshi Bhatt, Julia Hart, Jim Jacobs, Saurav Yadav, Simran Wig, Dhruman Shah, and Srikanth Pendyala

The Impact of Autonomous Vehicles and Smart Cities on the Insurance Industry project team consisted of Wig, Saurav Yadav (senior manager), Srikanth Pendyala (senior consultant), and consultants Devanshi Bhatt, Dhruman Shah, and Nishi Mehta. The team had the opportunity to present its findings to Jim Jacobs, CEO of COUNTRY Financial.

"Mr. Jacobs was quite impressed with our research and had amazing insights for us, which helped us in building our final recommendations. Our interaction with the CEO and his team was an enriching one, and we learned a lot from this experiential learning process," Yadav said.

Julia Hart, site leader for the COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab, was likewise impressed with the student consulting team.

"It was very clear that they spent a lot of time researching and analyzing trends and forecasts for autonomous vehicles and connected cities in the insurance industry," Hart said. "Additionally, the team was very dependable and always came to meetings prepared and able to answer without hesitation any question asked about the topic. I enjoyed working with the team and wish them continued success."

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Get to know Laura Fruhauff, MS student and scholarship recipient

Leep student Laura Fruhauff was on the verge of emailing her advisor to rescind her fall 2019 registration when she received notification from the iSchool that she would be receiving the Helen T. Stewart and Mildred Stewart Scholarship. During her undergraduate studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, she sometimes worked 80 hours a week to stay in school. According to Fruhauff, “This time around, in graduate school, I cannot do that. In addition to my full-time job, I have caretaker responsibilities to my parents and to my partner that occupy those other hours and funds I had originally designated to school. I cannot impress enough how crucial receiving a scholarship was and is for me and how grateful I am.”

Laura Fruhauff

Internship Spotlight: Airbnb

PhD student Natã Barbosa worked as an intern at Airbnb in summer 2019. The internship provided the basis for his paper, "Designing for Trust: A Behavioral Framework for Sharing Economy Platforms," which was selected for The Web Conference 2020. Barbosa was recently named a 2020 Facebook Fellowship finalist.

Nata Barbosa

Gorrell coauthors paper on designing trans technology

As a Research Experience for Master's Students (REMS) Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information last summer, MS/LIS student Dykee Gorrell worked with Oliver Haimson, assistant professor at Michigan, on a research project about trans technology design. One of the papers that resulted from their research, "Designing Trans Technology: Defining Challenges and Envisioning Community-Centered Solutions," has been accepted for the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020). Additional coauthors and research team members include Michigan graduate students Denny Starks and Zu Weinger.

Dykee Gorrell

Get to know Robyn Whitlock, MS student

According to Leep student Robyn Whitlock, the iSchool's school librarian licensure program has done "an amazing job" of preparing her for a career as a school librarian. Her advice to students considering school librarianship is "go for it!" As she nears the end of her program, Whitlock "couldn't be more excited about the future." 

Robyn Whitlock

Bashir receives an additional $4M from NSF for cybersecurity scholarships

For a decade, the Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program (ICSSP) has been offering scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Illinois in exchange for government service after graduation. The program is offered through the University's Information Trust Institute (ITI), an interdisciplinary research center addressing all aspects of information trust.

Mark Cockburn and Masooda Bashir