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The Future of Self Driving Cars

The Future of Self Driving Cars

The future of self driving cars may be closer than you think. And with it, the joy of much lower auto insurance premiums. According to Metromile, car insurance will drop by about $1,000 a year for drivers—with estimated payments as low as $250 a year. How can this be? Well, there are a couple huge benefits that self-driving cars bring to the market in the form of nearly nonexistent risk.

Self-driving cars are much better at it than humans.

In a recent pilot program around Silicon Valley, Google’s self-driving cars only reported five minor accidents in the course of driving 200,000 miles. Those accidents weren't even the cars’ fault either. In all incidents, the self-driving cars were rear-ended by human drivers.

Self-driving cars are super-human.

As humans, we only have 180 degree peripheral vision. Self-driving cars have 360 degree vision that is complete focused at every angle. This allows the cars to see everything happening around them and avoid accidents. In the course of driving nearly 2 million miles in California, Google’s self driving cars haven’t been in one serious accident. Since 33,000 people die every year in car accidents, self driving cars have a potential of saving many lives.

Lower risk means lower insurance rates.

Self-driving cars cut down on accidents by 90% and could save 1,000 lives every year if just 10% of all cars had self-driving technology—meaning that auto insurance agencies will be forced to cut down on their premiums. Since the risk of driving will be taken out of the equation, you might wonder why we will even need insurance once these much safer cars hit the road. While your risk of being in an accident is low, your car could still be damaged from natural forces and theft.

Self-driving cars won’t reach their lowest premiums until all cars on the road eliminate the human driver.

There’s no way to project how people will react to seeing a self driving car. Some skeptics even surmise that since human drivers rely on social cues to make driving decisions, coming face-to-face with a driverless car could cause humans to make more driving errors. This is yet to be proven, but until all human drivers remove themselves from behind the wheel, there will still be extra risk involved for self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars will be ready for consumers "soon."

Humans will most likely take a back seat to their robot chauffeurs within the decade. Google has been testing their autonomous vehicles since 2009, and with a few more years of testing and refining, they could be ready to market to consumer in the very near future.


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