Will new tech save the souls of motorists?

New, emergent technologies may be just what the doctor ordered for British motorists sick and tired of constantly increasing car insurance rates.

Nobody had a good 2015, but drivers were especially out of sorts thanks to an average 8 per cent motor car insurance hike. It seems like cheaper car insurance is going to be solidly out of reach for most motorists if this trend continues – but there might be a saviour on the horizon in the form of new driving technologies that focus on automation – which could drive insurance costs down, down, down where they belong.

In fact, new industry research from Here, a technology group, which allied with a major insurer, predicts that car insurance costs will plummet over the next few years as automatic crash avoidance technology becomes increasingly prevalent in cars on British roadways. This will reduce rates by something like £13.8 billion by the end of the decade – that is, if these predictions turn out to be accurate. Right now there’s no way of knowing if this will actually come to fruition – people were predicting that Betamax would bury the VHS format back in the 80s and that certainly didn’t happen, now did it?

Still there might be some merit there. There’s two models of Ford Focus out on the market now, one fitted with impact-sensing automatic braking systems and one without, and I’ll give you one guess as to which model is less expensive to insure. How less expensive? Well the one with the auto-braking system can be insured for 33 per cent less than its counterpart, according to independent verification from the Observer. That’s not exactly chump change, if you ask me!

Of course there are limitations to systems like this. The auto-braking system that most cars use and will be using (including the Focus) are really only useful at speeds of 20 mph and slower. This might not seem like much of a help but considering that around 3 out of every 4 accidents that occur at city driving speeds are within this window, this could make a serious difference in avoiding collisions.

So yes, it will make a difference, at least in some way. How much of a difference is anyone’s guess at this point – we’ll have to wait and see how the landscape changes as more new cars hit British roads that have these new automated safety features as standard. Until then, just keep as tight a lid on your expenses as possible so you can afford to keep paying those annual premiums!

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