Driverless cars, or autonomous vehicles, are becoming more and more of a reality and as we start to see them on the roads there is an interesting question over insurance and road traffic compensation.
These vehicles are able to sense their environment and navigate roads without any human input. Although as of 2015 there are no commercially available vehicles that run on normal roads, within the next 5 years we can expect to see them, or at least that is what Google Inc. is telling us. Car safety features such as collision alerts, advanced cruise control and blind-spot monitoring are already reducing car accidents.
What impact will they have?
Several insurance companies have started to raise concerns that there will be a change to the way that they do business as a result of the rise of these vehicles.
Demand for insurance could decrease due to autonomous cars. This might lead to usage-based policies which would change the way that insurers price, underwrite and market their policies.
Patterns of severity and frequency of crashes used to predict risk can be affected.
While less individuals may take out policies and road traffic accidents may decrease, the cost of repairing the more advanced vehicles may increase.
Litigation may shift towards the car manufacturers and software development companies when autonomous car crashes do occur. This can affect the bargaining power for negotiation since these larger companies will have bigger policies and more influence.
There will be plenty of time for insurers to adapt though and the initial likely outcome of autonomous vehicles becoming more present is that road traffic accidents will decrease.
Preventing car accidents
Google have claimed they will be able to get rid of 90 per cent of car accidents and Volvo has said it will be able to prevent any car crashes in its vehicles by 2020. These reductions will have an effect, not just on motor vehicle insurance, but also on industries that are related such as hospitals, mechanics and hire car dealerships, and the insurers that cater for them.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident on the road that was someone else’s fault and are looking for compensation then you should call Accident Advice Helpline on Freephone number, 0800 689 0500. Our law firm has years of experience dealing with all sorts of claims and offers a no-win no-fee* service.
Date Published: April 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice