Volvo chief: driveless cars will wreck insurance industry

Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Swedish carmaker Volvo, says that driverless car technology will completely dismantle the car insurance industry.

Thanks to the way driveless cars will make the lion’s share of crashes a thing of the past, industry experts like Samuelsson say that car insurance rates will plummet – and if you ask me, if that leads to the entire collapse of all those high-priced car insurance companies, I’m not going to complain one bit!

Samuelsson is scheduled to speak at an autonomous vehicle seminar early next week, and his planned remarks include touting self-driving vehicles will be one of the most important, if not the absolute single most important, jump forward in car safety since the advent of the airbag, or maybe even the seat belt. Car crash figures should plummet by 80 per cent by 2035 once autonomous vehicles take to the roads, he’s scheduled to add as well.

So how much will this reduce car insurance premiums? Well insurance research groups are already predicting a drop of £13.5 billion by the end of this decade! This is owing to more than two out of every three cars sold by 2020 will have some sort of advanced system that can communicate with other cars on the road as well as the internet itself, paving the way for driver assistance technologies specifically formulated to reduce the severity of accidents or wipe them out altogether.

Honestly I am all for this type of technology. Yes, I can hear several tinfoil hat-wearing pillocks out there now, claiming that this is just one step further along the path to some Orwellian nanny state that controls every aspect of our lives by monitoring us from afar and then punishing us for stepping out of line, but for pity’s sake think about how much more safer the roads will be thanks to these new systems. Instead of inattentive motorists causing car crashes and possibly ending lives – or criminals engaging in crash for cash schemes that drive the cost of insurance up for everyone – imagine if your 2020 Vauxhall Astra’s computer detects the car in front of you stopped suddenly well ahead of you noticing it and hits its own brakes to avoid you from becoming one with the windscreen.

Still think it’s a terrible idea? Well go ahead and keep driving your own way. I’ll be over here, in the new, safe, car, counting the money I save on cheap car insurance!

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