Some food for thought on driving in the future

Xiamen For every new technology humanity creates in the 21st century, there is a knock-on effect. The globalization of tech has seen boundaries blur between business and production sectors until a worldwide technological model is emerging where everything from books, smartphones, tablets and even our homes are sharing a common digital language. Where humanity creates, there is always the potential for error in performance. Where that potential exists, insurance must be there to cover the shortfall.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaping up to be one such global game changer. In the very near future it’s set to revolutionize every aspect of human life. One of the day to day activities set to change the most is driving. The concept of the self-driving car is being met with equal degrees of support and suspicion. Here are some pros and cons along with how they may affect car insurance policies of the future.

The pros of vehicular AI

In an alarming increase, car-related deaths in the United States have risen yet again…and technology is bearing some of the blame. The distraction of modern media and the machines that convey it have led to ever more distracted drivers on the road.Analysts of vehicular AI, however, maintain that this particular tech offers the potential for positive

Analysts of vehicular AI, however, maintain that this particular tech offers the potential for positive progress, and that such accidents and fatalities could be averted by a car which takes full responsibility for the journey. With driver error removed as a possibility, pssengers would be free to enjoy the trip, read, play games or even sleep as in-car sensors and computers take the wheel. It’s a potential gift for drivers with disabilities or elder drivers who would once have had to hand in their keys.

While paying laser sharp attention to the world around them, smarter cars would also be in a constant state of self-study. They would be self-assessing the performance of their hardware and software for even the slightest error or flaw and thusly accelerating progress towards a more perfect vehicle.

The cons of vehicular AI

This white paper from neutral think-tank the Irondequoit Eno Center for Transportation does highlight the benefits, but also considers the downside. The study foresees prohibitive production costs and low consumer availability placing AI cars beyond the reach of the majority for years to come while also noting sluggish national legislation governing the use of smart cars and their effects on insurance. It may be 2025 before the public can decide whether or not to try AI-assisted driving.

Arrival delays aside, there are fears of new dangers when AI driving does become the norm. The diminishing of human agency in driving leaves many (if not all) decisions up to the car. As one article states, AI “must decide in the event of a potential collision whether to hit a pedestrian, or swerve and thus kill or injure the driver. Equally as unnerving: if a car has AI it’s a potential target for hackers. Drivers could find themselves diverted mid-journey by an outside party; possibly even vehicles sitting unmanned in driveways could be remotely activated and stolen.

No matter the likelihood of the above drawbacks, they are on the minds of millions. We tend to embrace smaller-scale technological advancements which will facilitate speedier and more comfortable lives. If our lives are literally going to be in the hands of tech, we’re not quite so keen.

What it could mean for car insurance

In a world of AI, the autonomy (and related risk of error) of drivers is greatly reduced if not ultimately entirely removed. Smart cars rating their own performance and reporting to their manufacturers will mean the vehicle itself will become more and more infallible. The likelihood of having our cars stolen looks set to be a thing of the past with biometric data deciding who gets to open the door.

With accidents and their attached health fees, theft and parts failure facing a dramatic decrease and driver safety records a concurrent increase, does tomorrow have any need of car insurance?

The answer is that it will, but it will take new forms to keep pace with new risks. All possible dangers of malfunctioning AI, third-party hacking and issues yet to be discovered, will need to be protected against by both manufacturer and consumer. There is still work to be done in ascertaining who would be liable in an AI insurance claim.

The ability of a smart car to self-diagnose and report problems on its own could remove the need for insurance staff in the claims verification process. With fewer employees engaged behind the scenes to calculate a claim there would be less people requiring a paycheck. The speed and efficiency of AI carrying out these once-human tasks could mean lower premiums for policy holders.

Human jobs may be augmented rather than lost, however. With around 62% of insurance companies ready to use AI by 2018 with big increases in projected profits over the next two years, car insurance is revving up for the good and the bad the road ahead will bring.

Avante Insurance is a South Florida family owned and operated insurance agency providing an array of insurance services to meet the individual needs of our customers. If you need any information on insurance, you can call us at 305-648-7070, request an insurance quote or contact us with any questions or comments.