According to the International Organization for Road Accident Prevention, errors in human judgment account for 90 percent of car accidents. The collective failure rakes in $157 billion in car insurance premiums every year. However, if a self-driving car eliminated the driver’s mistakes, the auto insurance industry would change.
RAND Corp did a recent study that predicted increased liability for car companies while personal liability would become non-existent. If both humans and vehicles share responsibility for driving, car insurance could become a complex subject. If automated vehicles reduced the number of accidents, the insurance industry would change entirely. According to AAA, auto insurance in the United States costs an average of $1,020 annually.
Self-driving car insurance policies would focus on the make and model of cars rather than accident history or the length of time spent driving. Cars may also see the installation of black boxes to collect data and decipher the seconds before the crash occurred.
Some experts say autonomous driving technology could hit showrooms across America within the next five years. Self-driving vehicles could reduce accident rates by 90 percent, which according to Google, could stop more than 30,000 vehicle fatalities each year.
Many American drivers expressed interest in purchasing autonomous vehicles, but few said they were willing to pay premiums for self-driving cars. Self-driving vehicles complicated issues for auto insurance companies because it begs the question, Who is responsible?
Already car manufacturers are creating automatic features in vehicles such as automatic gear shifts, anti-lock brakes and cruise control. It is only a matter of time before a self-driving vehicle becomes one of the latest features. According to Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Communications, a self-driving car would succeed on US roads if the United States builds the correct infrastructure. The legality and liability issues concerning self-driving cars will be worked out as this technology grows and improves.