Shop Insurance Canada Argues Against Mandatory Autonomous Vehicles
July 29, 2016 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsJuly 29, 2016 - Online auto insurance expert, Shop Insurance Canada, says that the safety of autonomous vehicles is still untested in the real world, so the industry should wait and see before offering predictions of driverless cars being mandatory. However, the outlet says vehicle manufacturers should be required by law to include life-saving telematics in all vehicles, something the Ontario government is enforcing.
Ontario has recently presented a bill that would allow the province to mandate that carmakers include life-saving telematics devices in their vehicles, and other autonomous measures to lower accident rates. With fully autonomous vehicles expected in the next five to 10 years, some are arguing that at least some levels of the technology will be required by law.
Kate Browne, senior vice president for Swiss Re, said during ARC Group Canada's annual seminar that driverless vehicles save lives and the technology should be a requirement in the future.
"Basically, it's going to be a moral imperative," Browne, keynote speaker for Unintended Consequences: Who is at risk in a world where technology is ahead of regulation?
"These cars save lives," she said. "Eventually, I believe, the technology is going to be mandated. We're going to be required to have this technology," she added.
"Right now, we have mechanical drive, combustion engine, oil-based, stand-alone, personally owned, human-operated cars. Where are we headed? Electronic drive, electric motors, fueled by diverse sources such as electricity and solar, shared and driverless," Browne predicted.
It is worth noting that the safety of autonomous vehicles has already been speculated upon, with some saying the tech has a lot to prove to show it is safer in dangerous driving conditions. Shop Insurance Canada agrees and says the viability of autonomous vehicles should be explored before thinking too far ahead.
"These vehicles are not on the market yet. When they are we will be able to see whether they bring the wide-ranging changes to safety predicted. It is certainly likely that accident rates will drop significantly and insurance premiums will fall, but it is not guaranteed."
The company adds that early stumbling blocks could hurt autonomous vehicles and that some consumers will not like to have their right to drive taken away.
"It is unclear how consumers will react to the first collisions involving autonomous vehicles, but it is likely that it will be negatively," Shop Insurance Canada says. "It is often ignored that some people simply like to drive, so having that ability taken away could result in a consumer backlash."
Browne correctly says humans are currently responsible for the majority of collisions and removing the human element will guarantee a decline in accident rates.
"Human beings are responsible for more than 99% of all car accidents and one of the reasons is we simply don't see as well as machines do. The human vision is about 30 metres forward, while the LIDAR system, which is the sensors on the Google car, can see 300 metres in front of them."
Browne did admit there were hurdles to overcome, especially in the way autonomous vehicles are sold, with software companies and manufacturers likely to collaborate.
"Traditionally, software has not been considered a product. It's not subject to product liability law. You don't manufacture it, you code it; you don't sell it, you license it," she told attendees. "So it's not going to be an easy fit," she noted, but added she is confident a solution will be found that works for everybody.
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 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.
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