The Road to Insuring Self-Driving Cars Will Be Long and Winding
The future is now. The auto industry is changing more than ever before, and soon cars will be driving us, thanks to new technology.
The acceleration of change is happening faster than most of us realize. While autonomous vehicles promise enhancements in safety and consumer mobility, they are also bringing new risks for consumers and transforming the auto insurance industry as well as transforming how those risks will be covered.
Despite the current safety concerns, technology is advancing and we are moving closer to the point in time when self-driving vehicles will become available to the public. While we wait for the deployment of autonomous vehicles, new cars are being built with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which include features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
As more vehicles with these features hit the road, they will dramatically decrease the frequency of rear-end collisions. However, we know that when accidents do occur, they will be much more expensive to repair due to the cost of the new technology.
Whether it be through self-driving fleets or tractor-trailers moving goods from warehouses to retailers, or high-flying drones delivering packages to your doorstep, the commercial transportation and mobility system that we know today will look very different a decade from now.
Over the long-term, we anticipate fewer accidents and increased use of ride-sharing and mobility services. This shift in consumer mobility will cut the number of vehicles per household in half by 2050. And, fewer personally owned vehicles on the roads being replaced by high-tech shared vehicles also means fewer accidents.
Auto insurers are working to embrace these new norms to keep auto insurance available, affordable and relevant. Insurance carriers that can accurately price for these new risk factors will be able to better serve policyholders’ needs at a fair price for everyone.
Since 2011, Nationwide has collected more than 2.5 billion miles of anonymous driving data from the nearly 1.3 million vehicles. That data has helped shape the ability to better understand the impact of driving behaviors as vehicle systems evolve.
For commercial insurance needs, the increased implementation of driver-assisted technology will also have a visible impact on the traditional freight transportation system. Whether it be through self-driving fleets or tractor-trailers moving goods from warehouses to retailers, or high-flying drones delivering packages to your doorstep, the commercial transportation and mobility system that we know today will look very different a decade from now.
These and many more questions are on the horizon as are the challenges faced by an insurance industry that wants to make good on its commitment to strong claims-paying ability and consumer protection.
Change is here, and many more changes are coming fast. We and our competitors will be hard at work to understand what it means to our industry and for customers, while continuing to vigilantly pursue safety improvements.