Autonomous car technology could really make my life, the mother of four children, a lot easier.
For example, the car could take my children to school—could then take me to work. Perhaps, it could then run errands for all of us. The sorts of quality-of-life improvements that it could make, just in my life, is really pretty incredible.
We at Cincinnati Insurance have been studying autonomous car technology and trying to understand the timeline and how it will be rolled out for some time. We’ve made visits to Fiat Chrysler and also to Ford to meet with their autonomous car teams to get a perception from ground zero from these teams as to what the future is going to be like and the pace at which these cars and this technology will be rolled out. I know it seems like autonomous cars are a long way off, like something from a Jetsons’ cartoon; but they’re really not as far off as you think.
This emerging technology will not just improve safety but will also give rise to new businesses; and we in the insurance industry have the opportunity to innovate, to meet the changing needs of our clients, just as we have done throughout history. This technology will make accidents less frequent—when you have a car that can take over braking—can tell you when a car’s in your blind spot. Likely, you’re gonna have fewer accidents; and that’ll be fewer injuries and less damage.
In the longer term, as cars take over more and more of the driving duties, the liability for any accidents that should occur with that car should start to shift over to the navigation system and away from the driver. But that doesn’t mean that the need for insurance is gonna entirely go away though. The person in the car is still gonna need some protection. The person who owns the car is still gonna need some protection. The navigation system providers are still gonna need protection, and there’s gonna be a whole economy that arises around autonomous cars; and all of those different businesses are also going to need insurance protection.
Insurance agents should pay close attention to the evolution of this technology so they can continue to provide the kind of valuable advice that they’ve always provided to their clients. Our promise to you is that we will continue to study this technology and its evolution and provide you with the kinds of products and services that you need to retain your status as a trusted advisor to your clients.