Every major automaker is working on autonomous car tech and most of them already have some very high-tech safety options available from an automated parallel parking in your new Ford to a Distronic Plus steering assistance system in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class that offers lane-guidance capability, which locks on dotted white-lane markings, as well as maintaining its distance from the car in front, braking to a complete halt if it is needed. For the tech to work, the driver still needs to keep his or her hands on the steering wheel. The system also detects if the driver is not holding hands on the wheel.
And it is not just big automakers. Tech companies also see a big opportunity there. Google is busy working on their self-driving car and rumour is that Apple has also hired hundreds of people to work on a secret car project.
There is no actual date published by any major automaker where we can see driverless cars in local showrooms, but industry experts expect it to happen within 10-15 years. These first cars won’t come without a steering wheel as they will still come with a steering wheel, meaning you can drive the car like you do it today or switch to autonomous driving if the road conditions allow it.
This is going to be the biggest revolution in the history of automobile.
Just imagine you are driving to work and instead of focusing on all the other drivers around you, maintaining the proper speed and distance from other cars you switch to autonomous function and open your laptop to start your day in the rolling office.
I would love to see it already here, as it would give me so much more time to focus on other things from work to reading a book, watching a movie or just taking a nap.
Driverless cars will also make our roads much safer and there will be less or almost no accidents and casualties. That’s of course if the technology does not fail on us.
There are different indistries that that will have to go through big changes when the driverless cars make it to the market. One of them is car insurance.
Imagine a world where there is almost no accidents and stolen cars, as everything is nicely controlled by computers. Could there be a day when we don’t need the insurance as there is nothing to insure your vehicle against?
Not in the coming few hundred years is my guess. Even in sci-fi movies like i-Robot the self driving cars crash and get into accidents. We all have had problems with our smart phones and computers. There is no way, at least in the near future that self driving cars come with technology, which has no bugs, never crashes or does not understand the command, as some parallels in the formula are new to it.
The driver-assist technology available today is already making changes in how safe our roads are. As a result companies like More Than Car Insurance are expected to change their business model in the coming years, taking into account different factors like how safe and autonomous the car is that you are insuring. The less human involvement, the safer the car should be. At least in theory!
For example with the arrival of driverless cars, individual no claims bonus could one day be a phrase in the history books. Same thing with stolen cars as it is already case with the Tesla Model S, which you can steal, but you won’t get very far as the car is tracked by Tesla Motors and can be even shut down remotely.
Insurance industry or any other industry shouldn’t worry now as the rise of robot cars is still a long way off and the change won’t happen over night, meaning everyone involved will have plenty of time to adjust to the changes.