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Driverless Cars and the Impact That They’ll Have on Your Car Insurance

Whether you like it or not, the idea of a driverless car seems to be slowly looking like that it will one day become a reality. Aside from those involved in the testing of vehicles, it’s safe to say that the majority of drivers across the United States have no idea as to how the concept of a driverless vehicle will actually work. However, that uncertainty has done nothing to curb the excitement that many drivers across the country have.

In Fact, check out this Self-Driving Car Test by Steve Mahan a Googler: 

Rush hour commutes can be agonizing; aggravating at best. For those that drive to and from work every day, rush hour traffic can make a 45 minute commute take 2 hours or more. Because you’re stuck behind the wheel, you’re productivity is incredibly limited. For those that take the train, there are more opportunities to get a jumpstart on your work for the day. Unfortunately, you’re faced with the drawback of overcrowded and uncomfortable trains and busses.

Imagine being able to sit in the privacy of your car, eating breakfast and getting a head start on your work while your car does the driving for you. That would be a dream-come-true in so many ways for most commuters. It is the idea alone that has drivers so giddy about driverless cars. According to CNBC driverless cars are ready, but consumers and insurance companies are not ready for them yet.

Car manufacturers realize this, as do some of the world’s biggest technology companies. That’s why Google, Mercedes-Benz, GM, and more are sinking millions of dollars in research and development and the testing of these cars. In fact, GM has already said that they plan to release their first driverless car in roughly 6 years.

Insurance companies, however, aren’t necessarily sharing that same sense of excitement that is held by both the general public and car manufacturers.

So why aren’t insurance companies overly crazy about the concept? It’s all about the claims and the money.

autonomous vehicle

Autonomous car with no steering wheel – Image Credit: Shattuck Auto

Those questions alone underline the impact that driverless cars are having on insurance companies. However, the questions don’t stop there. Should a driverless car malfunction and cause an accident, who will be at fault: The individual occupying the driverless car or the car manufacturer?

As you start to consider the questions, it becomes clearer and clearer as to why driverless cars pose a potential major headache for car insurance companies in the United States, and around the globe. On the flip side, Chunka Mui, a contributor for Forbes states “Google’s driverless cars are worth trillions”.

One thing is certain, though. The technology for driverless cars exists, and the concept will very soon become a reality for most drivers, car manufacturers, and auto insurance companies around the world. There is also no doubt that insurance companies will, in conjunction with the federal government, come up with some sort of regulations and insurance terms and conditions that best suits cars that drive themselves.

What the regulations, terms, and eventual costs will be; we can’t be so sure right now. However, it is only a matter of time before we find out, and until then, all we can do is speculate.

Shaun Fyffe

Shaun Fyffe

Hi, I am Shaun Fyffe and writing is my passion. I have been researching and writing for the auto insurance industry for 10 years. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family, sometimes I might go hiking or riding a bike, plus doing the regular hanging out - New York Style!

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