You may be aware that, last month, the testing of driverless cars began in the UK in certain locations so one of the things that will need to be considered is arranging car insurance should they be come available for the public to drive. This is an interesting situation that we shall now explore.
At the moment, an insurer bases the car insurance premium on a number of factors. These include things like the age of the driver, the make and model of the car being insured, where you live, what the car is being used for i.e. social domestic and pleasure or business use, where you park your car overnight, your claims history, whether you have any motoring convictions and if you have any security devices fitted.
With driverless cars, surely there will be no need to take into account the risk that the driver of the vehicle presents as he or she will not be responsible for how the car is driven. This will presumably be down to the car and the software needed to operate the car in a safe manner. An opinion has been expressed that, as the majority of accidents are down to human error, there should be fewer accidents in driverless cars.
Car insurance companies will no doubt need to consider insuring against the car and/or the software making mistakes that result in accidents. It will be interesting to see how much that impacts on the premium that the motorist will pay. For instance, should the manufacturer of the software designed to help control the car be responsible for some of the insurance premium? After all, why should the motorist have to meet the total cost of the car insurance?
No doubt all these things and a few other factors will be subject to a great deal of discussion before anything can be finalised with the insurance companies. It is likely to be some years yet before we see self-driven cars being used commercially here on the public road system.
We will keep you updated.