Sunday, June 14, 2015

Insurance and Driverless Cars

There was an article in IEEE Spectrum recently about insurance and driverless cars.  It was basically talking about how you'd expect the manufacturer of the driverless control to take over the job of insuring the cars when they operate in driverless mode because they're big enough to and they have more information than anyone else.  The price of this would probably be part of the cars price.  It occurs to me that if insurance for a car's automated and manual modes become separated and if the automated insurance is bundled then this will be a force pushing for 100% automated roads if driverless cars take off.

Now, clearly this would be a major hit for the insurance industry and all those people whose livelihood depends on insuring vehicles are going to be putting pressure on politicians to stop these forces from affecting them somehow.  I'd expect a major push to require all cars to have manual driving insurance whether the car has a manual mode or not.  But after that I'd expect insurance companies to offer cheaper insurance for those cars and there to be a race to the bottom that makes the whole issue nearly moot.  Or quite possible there's some side of this that I'm not seeing.

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