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View Poll Results: Will self driving autos kill car insurance?
Of course 42 16.94%
Maybe but not for a long time 177 71.37%
I'm a luddite... 29 11.69%
Voters: 248. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Weasley View Post
So you think that current GL policies are adequate for the kind of exposure that self driving autos present? I'd say it's more like WC where coverage is defined by regulation and case law than by policy forms.
I think the GL form would give coverage here. No underwriter worth his salt would actually bind a policy right now, I would hope.
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:48 PM
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Those are great points, Mountain Hawk. I think 2050 is too long - I think we are talking about 2025 here. Maybe manual driving banned by 2035.

And you're right, there still's exposure to insure here. So 70% is a big chunk to take out of the market. I wouldn't buy any auto insurers stock right now - though, yes, this is far out in the future.
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  #23  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:54 PM
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Those are great points, Mountain Hawk. I think 2050 is too long - I think we are talking about 2025 here. Maybe manual driving banned by 2035.

And you're right, there still's exposure to insure here. So 70% is a big chunk to take out of the market. I wouldn't buy any auto insurers stock right now - though, yes, this is far out in the future.
Not a chance things move that fast. It took like 8 years for DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS to be standard.
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  #24  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:00 PM
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But this would be great for society. Elderly/disabled will be more mobile. Also, car ownership will decrease because it will be much easier to just use mass transit (that might make the 70% drop a bit conservative).

You could go to a computer and enter where you wanted to go, and the system would route the nearest car to you and deliver you to your destination (possibly picking up others and dropping them off in route).
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  #25  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:04 PM
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"Driverless" is merely a catchword to sell these vehicles -- nothing can completely replace human beings when it comes to driving. Once I was in a parking lot using iPhone Google map as GPS to find a business location. There were many entrances/exits; there is some construction going on, some of those entrances/exist were blocked off ... GPS/Google map was totally useless in that case, I had to find it myself.
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  #26  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:07 PM
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But this would be great for society. Elderly/disabled will be more mobile. Also, car ownership will decrease because it will be much easier to just use mass transit (that might make the 70% drop a bit conservative).

You could go to a computer and enter where you wanted to go, and the system would route the nearest car to you and deliver you to your destination (possibly picking up others and dropping them off in route).
People are not going to give up the independence of owning their own car. I'd actually anticipate a spike in car ownership as licenses to 'drive' are given to younger kids and older drivers licenses are restored.

Buck, the technology detects the surroundings, not just using GPS maps. Domestic GPS isn't nearly accurate enough for this.
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  #27  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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People are not going to give up the independence of owning their own car. I'd actually anticipate a spike in car ownership as licenses to 'drive' are given to younger kids and older drivers licenses are restored.

Buck, the technology detects the surroundings, not just using GPS maps. Domestic GPS isn't nearly accurate enough for this.
Technology would be redundant (and signal the driver to immediately get repairs upon failure of one of the redundancies) and would rely on both sensors and inter-car communication (effective only when %driverless cars becomes large enough). An article I read recently said that the little things will be the hardest to program into the sensors; they cannot operate as simply as you might imagine. The example cited was this: a ball rolls into the street in front of the car. Most small objects can be disregarded and one should continue driving... but a ball, to a human driver, is a sign to slow down because children are playing nearby and may run into the street after the ball. A driverless car needs to learn to mimic all of the minor decisions that humans make before it can, in nearly all situations, be safer than human drivers. They're already safer overall, however.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:26 PM
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Auto insurers are the primary driving force behind much of the safety improvements in the last 25-30 years. Why would they fight this. Frequency will drop huge. Severity will spike up, as faster speeds and more expensive bits to replace add to medical costs and repair costs. Loss Costs will probably drop 75% if we get to the point that virtually all cars are self-driven. Premiums probably 70%. Inflation will eat a lot of that savings away since this is probably a 30 year transition period.

So maybe the auto insurance market is in for 3 decades of very slow organic growth. Possible, but not totally destructive.
I was ignoring inflation when I said premiums would drop 90%. Comp will be down too, because collisions with animals (significant in wooded areas) will be greatly reduced as well.
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  #29  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:35 PM
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"Driverless" is merely a catchword to sell these vehicles -- nothing can completely replace human beings when it comes to driving. Once I was in a parking lot using iPhone Google map as GPS to find a business location. There were many entrances/exits; there is some construction going on, some of those entrances/exist were blocked off ... GPS/Google map was totally useless in that case, I had to find it myself.
Navigation is the easy part. Driving among ALL the other perils of the road is the hard part. The DARPA Challenge took place in the desert because it was devoid of stuff yet in 2004 not one vehicle could even finish the 150 mile course. And only 5/23 could finish in 2005. The fastest was Stanford's team (I think the same guys involved with the Google driverless car) completing 150 miles in just under 7 hours... I think it's safe to say that this technology is a ways away.
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  #30  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:39 PM
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Then let's speculate ...

With driverless cars:

- Bodily Injury frequency will be down by -0.2%, severity will be up by 7.8%.
- Collision frequency will be down by -2.1%, severity will be up by 14.5%.

...

Not very good trends in terms of insurance loss cost per car-year insured. Insurance will still be essential; however people will have more fun with their cars. Like all new technologies first came to human life, people will have to learn to get more out of it.
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