CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2021
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Lansing, Michigan. With over 48,000 licensed insurance agents in over 26 states, Auto-Owners provides automotive, home, life, and business insurance to nearly 3 million policyholders.

With over 600,000 visits to their website every month by a broad base of both agents and policyholders, Auto-Owners strives to ensure that their products and resources are easily accessible to everyone, including those who have difficulty using a web browser.

The AO Sidekick is an accessibility application offered to users trying to access the Auto-Owners’ website. The Sidekick directs users to pages across the site quickly and simply using only voice input.

When a user arrives at the AO Sidekick homepage, they are greeted with links to common pages on the AO website, as well as a description of what the Sidekick can do. From there, the user can navigate to the Sidekick page where the communication interface is located. Here, the user can see their correspondence with the Sidekick displayed in a text message style format. At the press of the microphone button, Sidekick interprets the user’s query and directs them to where they want to go.

If the user’s intent is unclear or their request too vague, our system asks follow-up questions for clarification.

Information gathered from this phase is stored and displayed in an intuitive manner on the dashboard page. AO employees can use this insight to facilitate further improvements in the future.

AO Sidekick is developed as a web application hosted by Azure. Azure provides the MS SQL database as well as the LUIS natural language processing API. The front end was developed using HTML, CSS and the ReactJS framework.