Driverless cars – in one form or another- are scheduled to roll off the production lines as early as next year, with several car makers offering ‘traffic jam assist,’ a system that takes over braking, steering and acceleration when you’re stuck in traffic – leaving you free to catch up on Downton Abbey or how many wickets we’ve taken.
But if you drive into the car in front of you, who would be at fault?
These soon to-be-a-reality driverless car functions are causing many insurers to scratch their heads, especially given the pace and future scope of the technology. If the car’s computer causes an accident, wouldn’t the car-maker be responsible? And does this means all cars of the same model would have to be parked until the fault could be rectified?
Google announced last May that it’s producing 100 prototyped driverless vehicles that have dispensed with steering wheels and pedals altogether. The two-seater electric cars will have a top speed of 40 km/h and foam bonnets to minimise the impact of a crash.
So does this mean lower car insurance premiums could be on the distant horizon?
If accidents are reduced, naturally the number of claims will drop. And super-safe Volvo predicts they’ll be able to eliminate crashes for anyone driving its cars by 2020; with Nissan announcing similar plans. So while this is hard to believe today, even if car accidents drop only 25 percent, a $1,000 car insurance policy would drop to $750.
Many industry experts predict that people will turn their backs on car ownership and the need for car insurance altogether – they’ll simply call a driverless car with their smart phone as and when they need to get somewhere.
Makes today’s cars seem as old fashioned as the horse-driven carriages in early episodes of Downton, doesn’t it?
If you’ve got a horseless carriage that needs insurance, give us a call today on 0800 823 823 or contact us here.