The Coming Robot Invasion: Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are here, and car insurance rates may go down as a result. By 2030, 15% of all cars sold may be fully autonomous, lowering the number of accidents.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Robotic cars might kill the car insurance industry as we know it, as the number of insurance claims will likely plummet
  • Google is the first to publicly announce an effort to build a self-driving robot car and is already testing it on the roads
  • The person in the driver’s seat can override the robot with the touch of a button so the car will not be completely automated

We always knew that it was only a matter of time before robots took over. And robotic cars will quickly be available to drivers.

Robotic cars that can drive themselves are on a collision course with every single car insurance company that makes a profit insuring against the losses incurred with a car accident.

Will self-driving cars lower insurance? Yes. Robotic cars will drastically reduce the likelihood of a car crash which will cause car insurance companies to reduce their premiums.

Reducing premiums will mean drastically reduced revenue and eventually that could cause car insurance companies to go out of business completely.

Find car insurance rates in your area before robotic cars change history.

How Self-Driving Cars Affect Car Insurance Companies

If fender-benders and running red lights in addition to major accidents were no longer prevalent, car insurance companies would be forced to lower coverage, thus making less profit.

Brad Templeton, an expert on robotic car technology, has assessed the gamut of implications of a wide scale robocar takeover of the roads.

Looking ahead, he assures us that car insurance companies do not want people to keep dying to keep premiums up; they just want to be players in the new world.

We can only hope for such an optimistic outlook on their adapting, either into antiquated, small-scale niche markets or into companies that turn their product of insurance into something else altogether.

It may be back to the drawing board for insurance companies!

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Self-Driving Cars are Smarter

Who cares about crash safety ratings if no one ever gets into a crash?

According to David DiSalvo on Forbes, these changes will affect us in good and bad ways.

Other technologies will also be incorporated, such as collision avoidance where a spectrum of abilities is installed into the cars that caution drivers of dangerous situations.

They may even go as far as actively controlling the car so as to avoid an accident. This would indicate that a human-built device will nearly have the intelligence of a human, without the ability to be distracted by outside items.

Fault: Whose is it?

The major question at hand is whose fault it will be if and when a robotic self-driving car is in an accident.

One may think that if the robot is driving the car, the robot would be at fault. Alas, things are not what they seem.

Currently, if an accident were to occur, the person sitting in the driver’s seat will be responsible.

In the Google car, even though the car will drive itself, a human must be sitting in the driver’s seat with a second human in the car as well, controlling the computer.

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Benefits of Self-Driving Cars

Drivers who don’t actually have to drive will enjoy the extra time usually spent on their daily commute catching up on the endless to-do lists.

Other benefits include:

  • easy parking
  • no need for a taxi
  • automatic designated driver

One desperately needed change would be the parking situation that haunts many a driver.

No more paying an arm and a leg for a spot outside your apartment or workplace; no more circling for what seems like hours at the busy shopping centers or universities.

According to this article from Timothy Lee, parking spaces would all but be eliminated. This would also affect the taxi industry because people’s private vehicles would pick them up and drive them home.

No more designated drivers to be appointed. You will have a forever DD with your robocar!

Some more serious advantages robotic cars will allow a reduced number of accidents, which in turn mean reduced casualties.

Ready or Not, Here Come Robotic Cars

As mentioned before, Google has recently acquired a license to test their self-driving cars in Nevada, according to VentureBeat.com.

In the next few years, we may be seeing different prototypes emerging in the auto market, as well as likely reduction of car insurance costs to drivers.

In all seriousness, with the announcements from Google that these self-driving cars may be imminently available, the future is closer than we think.

Technology has continued to take our society further into the future and will continue with the introduction of driverless cars!

Before you invest in a robotic car, find car insurance rates in your area today.

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