Maybe you aren’t ready for self-driving cars either.
Many of us wonder if the machines will ever do as well as human drivers. After all, we still put pilots in the cockpit of our passenger jets, right? We have good reason to wonder- is this really going to happen?
SELF-DRIVING CARS ARE HERE NOW
Self-driving cars are here to stay. Somewhere over the last few years, they have become more than a futuristic science fiction thing. As of right now- they are a real thing.
In June, 2015, Google made the huge announcement that they had just logged one million driverless miles in test cars. Many of those miles were right here in California. We know that they were driving Lombard Street in San Francisco. However, I don’t know if any of them were here in Napa. If you saw one locally- send me an email or give me a call. I’d love to hear your story.
WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO BUY A DRIVERLESS CAR?
By 2035, many experts estimate that one-quarter of all new cars being sold will be self-driving cars. Tesla has already introduced a form of self-driving technology, basically “autopilot,” but with limits.
Most major auto manufacturers are betting their future on self-driving cars, including Audi, Ford, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo. And General Motors may be leading the pack.
GM is rolling out “Super Cruise” which will debut in their 2017 CT6 large sedan. According to General Motors, Super Cruise will “allow for hands-off lane following, braking and speed control on the highway, both in bumper-to-bumper traffic as well as uncongested conditions.”
There are significant challenges to eliminating the steering wheel from your car. These include:
- Technology fails.
- Sudden changes to driving situations (picture a cop gesturing for you to pull over).
- Hacking and security issues.
- Ethical dilemmas. How do you program for “no-win” scenarios?
WILL YOU STILL NEED INSURANCE?
Yes. We are a lifetime away from every vehicle being hands-free. Human error, and accidents, will continue to happen for years to come. But the “bad news-good-news” is that your premiums will likely go down in decades to come.
Premiums will eventually go down. Yes, I said it twice.
Simple. As cars take over more of the driving, especially on highways at high speeds, claims will go down. And when claims go down, so do your premiums. Some predict by as much as 60%.
Warren Buffet, who owns controlling interest in GEICO, when asked about what happens when premiums drop, was quoted as saying: “we would not be holding a party at our insurance company.”
But you might be holding a party. Maybe even while your car drives you down the road.
Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates helping clients with insurance needs for personal, commercial and business insurance. Bruce can be reached at 707-931-0186, firstname.lastname@example.org