Autonomous Time for Insurance Companies Says Shop Insurance Canada

April 27, 2017   Business News
(PRLEAP.COM) One of the most important technological advancements in recent history could transform the way we travel and live, while it will also have a profound impact on the insurance industry. Autonomous vehicles are a future technology for the present, but they do not have to make insurance companies fearful. ShopInsuranceCanada.ca points out how time is very much on the side of insurers.

It has been widely predicted that driverless vehicles will change many things about basic travel. Most people will not drive their vehicles, but will instead be passengers in them. Indeed, at some point there will be no manual controls to take if anything happens autonomy will be total.

This presents the possibility that accidents, collisions, injuries and deaths could tumble. As we move towards full autonomy, machines will help to remove the biggest problem from the roads: Humans. Most collisions are caused by human error, whether it is loss of control, distracted driving, or impaired driving.

If accident rates fall significantly, insurance companies will be able to offer customers reduced premiums. However, the industry faces a problem in terms of where liability lies. It is widely predicted that vehicle manufacturers will assume the liability and not consumers.

While these automotive and tech companies are willing to play nice with insurance companies at the moment, it could be different in the future. Once full autonomy is here, manufacturers of the vehicles may seek to remove the insurance company middle man and simply develop their own coverage solutions.

None of this is idle speculation, it is widely predicted that the auto insurance market will decline drastically as the push towards full autonomy gathers momentum.

Most agree that Level 5 autonomous vehicles will disrupt the insurance market, but evidence suggests this technology is at least a decade away. When they do arrive, they will have profound impact on road safety and eventually the auto insurance market.

The U.S. Federal Autonomous Vehicles Policy sets out the following SAE criteria (paraphrased) for determining automation:
  • SAE Level 0 human does everything, like current cars
  • SAE Level 1 some in-car systems can aid the human in the operation of the vehicle
  • SAE Level 2 the autonomous tech can complete some driving tasks, but human monitoring is needed.
  • SAE Level 3 the system conducts some driving and monitors some of the environment, but human must be ready as backup.
  • SAE Level 4 the system can conduct driving tasks without any input from humans. However, the system only works under some conditions. This is where the current market is.
  • SAE Level 5 - is when the car can perform all tasks without the need for a human driver.

  • However, Andrew Lo, president and chief operating officer of Kanetix Ltd., spoke at the Canadian Insurance Accountants Association (CIAA) Tech IT Forward event in downtown Toronto. He thinks there are some hurdles left before insurers should be overly worried.

    "If you feel a threat because your whole automotive p&c book is going away, it's not going away any time soon," Lo noted during the CIAA event, sponsored by Deloitte Canada.

    However, he adds that there are still significant leaps in technology needed before cars will have a deep level autonomy, which could mean they operate completely without human interaction.

    "Then you need the ubiquitous vehicle-to-vehicle communication, because when you're driving at a hundred kilometres an hour, and a driver has to take over because the car can't figure out what to do next," systems must be in place.

    Autonomous vehicles "aren't going to be possible without 5G (fifth-generation wireless technology) network, without sensors, without artificial intelligence," Lo emphasized.

    "Full self-driving cars, which have all kinds of implications for insurance, are a long way off," Duncan Stewart, director technology and telecommunications research for Deloitte Canada suggested. These autonomous vehicles "will eliminate road accidents, which is going to be a fantastic thing and I can't wait. But that's a little ways off."

    The assessment of experts has been championed by auto insurance expert Shop Insurance Canada for some time. Once again, the company points out that insurance providers have time on their side, but must begin to act now:

    "It has been one of our constant themes to say that insurance companies should be proactive and meet the challenges of technology head on. As usual, the industry has been slow to react, but there is still time to develop solutions that can result in companies finding success in an autonomous vehicle market."

    About Shop Insurance Canada
    Shop Insurance Canada is a Toronto based company that specializes in delivering the best auto insurance products to customers around Ontario and Canada. The online auto insurance quoting tool uses an engine that is easy to use and accurate enough to deliver the best auto insurance quotes from over 25 of Canada's leading providers. Shop Insurance Canada also offers expert advice on the auto insurance industry, as well as guides and news to help customers find the best deal possible.

    Shop Insurance Canada works hard to bring all the latest insurance news to customers. We believe that understanding the industry starts with knowing what is happening day to day. Our customers and readers are hugely important to us, and we want them to get the best deals by being involved in the industry. If you have any interesting insurance topics or stories, let us know and we will be happy to consider it and write it up.

    Perhaps you have a funny story about your premium evaluations, or maybe a genuine worry about the state of insurance in Canada. Shop Insurance Canada wants your voice and story to be heard, so get in touch with us via our official contact page.

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