Autonomous car technology may be helping to save drivers’ lives, but it could be very damaging to insurance companies, with $20 billion worth of reductions expected in the next five years.
As helpful technologies such as blind spot warning, park assist and collision warning systems are fitted to cars more often, insurers may be forced into lowering their rates.
Research from mapping company Here and global reinsurer Swiss Re found that cars throughout Europe and North America will have, on average, 1.7 advanced assistance features on their cars by 2020, which insurance companies say could lead to a dramatic fall in accidents.
Bernd Fastenrath of Here said, “The systems support the driver and most accidents happen because the driver is not aware of a situation or is not concentrating on driving. These systems help to prevent accidents by changing lane, for example.”
Fastenrath added, “First the features come into the premium cars, but they are slowly dropping into high volume vehicles. For insurers there will be lower costs for claims on accidents but there will also be a reduction in premiums for cars with these assistance systems.”
The research also said that more than two-thirds of cars sold worldwide would have an assistance system of some sort by 2020.
A Moody’s Insurance Service report said, however: “It will be several decades before self-driving cars are widely adopted. In our projection, a majority of cars could be self-driving around 2045, and are likely to become nearly universal around 2055.
“Accident frequency will fall sharply over time, and will ultimately translate into significantly lower premiums and, consequently, lower profits for insurers.”
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.