Waymo is working with insurance startup Trov on protections for riders using its forthcoming self-driving ride hailing service. Trvo will provide Waymo’s passengers with insurance for lost and managed property, and for any medical expenses resulting from rides, reports the Wall Street Journal. The coverage will be invisible to riders, however, bundled as part of the overall service with Trov operating behind the scenes.
It’s a look at how the future of ride sharing could become something that provides a lot of opportunity for new players and old to offer services that differ from their typical business. Trov started up with the intent of providing coverage for gadgets and cameras that could be remotely disabled, and Waymo represents both its first large corporate client and a departure from that model.
Waymo also made headlines when it partnered with rental car firm Avis, which is helping the company maintain its vehicle fleet in its pilot project in Arizona. Avis will be essentially making sure the frequent-use vehicles are in tip-top shape and clean for riders – like taxis, Waymo’s cars require a lot of regular upkeep since they’re used far more often than the average consumer vehicle.
How the halo economy forms around self-driving services, and what new opportunities arise for startups and others to address will be a massive opportunity for some (and a threat to other, legacy players who’ve depended on a vehicle economy built mostly on individual ownership). Watch this space for more interesting and experimental developments as we approach deployment of these services for the public.