Driving without a driver could exist sooner than we might expect. You input your destination and kick back with coffee while waiting to arrive. Instead of having to drive, your commute could become a time to spend answering emails and reading the newspaper. What's more? Researchers expect that it will drastically reduce the number of accidents each year. As Warren Buffet once said, however, "If you come up with something that cuts accidents in half, that would be fantastic. However, our car insurance company would not be throwing an office party."
Fewer accidents could drastically lower the rate of car insurance, but we have a couple years before this technology hits the market. Google estimates that it will have its first autonomous vehicle available in 2020. The following companies are testing their own autonomous vehicles:
In the past, questions were raised about how we might impose auto insurance regulations on these vehicles. Federal legislature has decided that the California DMV will lead the way on the autonomous vehicle. The plan is to create a two-phase regulation on autonomous vehicles: The first phase begins with testing, and the second phase begins with deployment. They will be integrated into the current criminal, regulatory and insurance regime.
Lawmakers have created laws surrounding them. For example, a licensed driver will still have to operate the vehicle, but they will need a certificate for the self-driving vehicle. With Google's recent testing, the vehicles had to be taken over 341 times in the 424,331 miles of driving that took place. Autonomous vehicles have logged over one million miles since 2009, and there have only been 12 minor accidents. That kind of reduction in accidents will greatly reduce what we pay for car insurance. State Farm, the largest auto insurance company in the United States, has planned its survival by reinventing itself as a life management company. They will analyze data about personal health, home and customer vehicles.
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