Tired of hearing about the pending tsunami-wave of driverless cars, missing the pleasure of open-road cruising and the ‘good old days’ of motoring? Too bad, driverless cars are just around the corner. The technology’s (clearly) not perfect yet but the big money’s backing the idea including Google and most Euro car manufacturers, and they’re all predicting the end of car crashes, car insurance claims – and collision repair shops.
Crash Management works with many industry partners including the insurance broker sector. We note their magazine CoverNote is keeping up with the issue and they’ve provided some quality coverage – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – and on that note we present CoverNote’s latest findings titled Industry Told to Prepare for Driverless Cars:
The multi billion dollar vehicle insurance industry will face radical decline due to the introduction of self-driving cars, with the number of car crashes set to drop 80% by 2035 and insurance premiums to plummet, a car maker says. Research in the US shows autonomous driving (AD) technologies could wipe US$20 BILLION off insurance premiums globally by 2020 alone.
At present motor vehicle insurance generates 42% of all non-life premiums, the largest single slice of global premiums. Coby Duggan Volvo NZ National Manager said the insurance industry would have no choice but to react to these challenges to is existing business model. “The medium to long-term impact on the insurance industry is likely to be significant” he said.”Autonomous driving technology is the single most important advance in automotive safety to be seen in recent years. It will mean fewer accidents, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities and fewer costs for vehicle owners.”
Peter Shaw CEO at Thatcham Research (car crash and repair research organisation) said vehicle manufacturers were predicting that highly autonomous vehicles capable of allowing the driver to “drop out of the loop” for certain sections of their journey would be available from around 2021. “Without doubt car crash frequency will also dramatically reduce. We’ve already seen this with the adoption of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on many new cars. “Research predicts that by 2035 as a result of autonomous and connected cars, crashes will be reduced by 80%. Additionally if a crash unfortunately can’t be avoided, then the impact speed will also drop as a result of the system’s performance, reducing the severity of the crash” he said.
Volvo will start the UK’s most extensive AD trial called Drive Me UK in 2017, with up to 100 AD cars being driven on real roads, part of its global push to develop AD cars with similar programmes to be run in Sweden and China. “The introduction of autonomous driving represents a revolution for car safety. Volvo has a vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020. Autonomous drive technology is a key tool in helping us achieve this aim” Duggan said.
Well that seems fairly definitive: the end of driving for pleasure as we know it, the end of the entire panelbeating industry, probably the end of some insurance companies and brokers. Perhaps Crash Management will be looking for a career change too…
For more on the wonderful world of car insurance see: http://ibanz.co.nz/Business-unprepared-for-AVs/10193-dc5d6619-63b9-4b1e-ac6e-0bcd1e3219cf/