Dynamics of automotive industry are changing drastically. With the advent of self driving cars automobile industry is going through revolutionary changes. Auto insurance which is directly related to automobile industry is no exception. The influence self driving cars will have on car insurance cannot be ignored.
Here are some of the influences self driving cars will have on car insurance in Texas:
Greater safety leading to lesser accidents and insurance claims:
Self driving cars eliminate the cases of accidents arising from inexperienced driving, tiredness, distraction or intoxication. Therefore generally speaking they are safer and have substantially lesser chances of committing errors. Lesser accidents lead to lower claims being filed for insurance. The demand for auto insurance might even fall leading to lower insurance premiums.
Liability shifts to the manufacturer from the driver:
In case an accident happens whereby no human is to be blamed, so who becomes liable for the damages? The liability rests with the manufacturer in such instances. However it may not be as simple as it seems. A lot of work is under way to develop tracking sensors that help identify whether the accident occurred due to human error or an AI driver in order to decide who shall be liable for the accident.
Driving record and claim history becomes insignificant:
Self driving cars render data such as driver history. Claim history and credit rating irrelevant since the driver no longer is behind the steering operating the car. He is just like a passenger who can do anything he likes in his car, sleep, eat or just enjoy the ride.
Before we jump to any conclusions, let us look at some important considerations when talking of self driving cars. First of all, there are different levels of automation.
This is complete manual level.
At this level there are features in car such as automatic brakes that help the driver.
This is the partial automation level requiring human supervision.
This refers to conditional automation as the car can self-drive in certain conditions. However the driver must be alert to take control when the need arises.
This is the high level of automation. The car is capable of driving without human intervention but only in good condition areas that are mapped.
This is the highest level of automation whereby the car can drive itself to any place without any human intervention.
An understanding of the levels of automation is very important to ascertain the impact of automation on car insurance.
Need of auto insurance for self driving cars:
So does it mean that self driving cars undermine the need of auto insurance? Not quite rightly. Autonomous or not. The state requires every vehicle to be insured so auto insurance is inevitable. Apart from this, the risks associated with autonomous cars do exist but in different form.
A self driving car can still get into an accident due to other and more complicated reasons such as problems with the software. Similarly, if a hacker controls the software of the vehicle this could also lead to accident. Insurance against any such crime is extremely important in self driving cars.
No matter how much of safety the manufacturer claims to have integrated into the car. Customers need some substantial proof of safety assurance. This comes only through auto insurance.
So car insurance Texas shall only be diversified with greater avenues and options to include in insurance agreements and coverage with the arrival of self driving cars. Auto insurance will still be required, but the forms of insurance will change.