Americans express concern with self-driving cars
More than 90 percent of car accidents are caused by human error. In other words, an autonomous vehicle would prevent most car accidents. However, despite the idea of safer roads, Americans are wary of self-driving cars.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently took a survey and found 73 percent of Americans were afraid to ride in fully autonomous vehicles. Pew Research Center found Americans have mixed opinions on whether driverless cars will reduce traffic deaths.
“Fatal crashes in Arizona and California have produced distrust toward self-driving cars,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.
Regardless of their fears, AAA reports, more than half the drivers participating in the survey want semi-autonomous technology in their next vehicle.
How will self-driving cars affect the insurance industry?
Artificial Intelligence, AI is making a considerable change to the auto industry. Consequently, auto insurance will also undergo a transition.
If no one is driving the car, who is held responsible?
“ Car accidents mostly require an assignment of blame, which is usually human error. However, if there is no driver, blame shifts to the manufacturer and away from drivers and car owners,” says Ellsworth Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.
Several automakers are so confident in their technology, they are accepting liability in cases where a vehicle’s self-driving system is at fault for a crash.
How will blame be assigned?
Car manufacturers are focusing on technology such as telematics devices or a “black box” to monitor driver activity. However, many drivers scoff at this idea due to the violation of privacy in tracking a driver’s whereabouts and driving habits.
If self-driving proves to reduce accidents as they are intended, insurance premiums could drop. Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett told CNBC, Autonomous cars will be bad for insurance companies in the long run.
This does not mean the industry will cease to exist but evolve. More research and time is required to determine the fate of our roads and those who work to protect it.