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The End Of The Road For Retail Motor Insurers?


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Fair enough but which does IT choose ?

You are now carrying your new born and partner back from the maternity ward in your driverless car - which does it choose ? Keep firmly in mind that YOU are paying for the car at this point (either renting like a taxi or bought outright).

Driverless cars are going to go the same way as telecommuting did - when the people paying for the technology lose control - adoption is minimal.

The simple answer is that it makes the choice it's programmed to make.

Get the programming right and that's the right choice.

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There are interesting posibilities if standard maximum vehicle widths are adopted, seperate road space is allocated and the cars can communicate with one another and other traffic systems . Cars could travel much closer together at higher speeds. On an 8 lane stretch of motorway such as the widened parts of the M1, the central reservation could be removed entirely and the outer lane of each carriageway used to make a 4 lane driverless section, with the allocation of the lanes controlled in accordance with traffic volumes.

As a frequent commuter I'm most interested in the idea of a large driverless campervan that I can sleep/shower/dress in whilst it ferries me to work!

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humans should not be responsible for driving a 1 ton machine putting theirs and other people's lives in danger. We worry about loss of jobs and business but will open many more avenues of new business if we were taken off needing people to be paid to drive cars. For our economy to grow we need to reduce mundane types of work and be smarter on how we work.

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Fair enough but which does IT choose ?

You are now carrying your new born and partner back from the maternity ward in your driverless car - which does it choose ? Keep firmly in mind that YOU are paying for the car at this point (either renting like a taxi or bought outright).

Driverless cars are going to go the same way as telecommuting did - when the people paying for the technology lose control - adoption is minimal.

Anyone who hires a Taxi or gets on a Bus or train has already lost control of the situation- but you do have a point because we might expect a Cab driver to have some sense of self preservation that would offer us some protection- a robot car may not have that.

On the other hand there are two taxi's available- one driven by a human the other by a robot- if the chances of being killed by human error are say 15%-20% higher than the chances of being killed by a robot driver, which do you choose?

In reality the real advantage that robot cars would have is not merely faster reaction time and superhuman levels of attention,but the fact that they would all communicate with each other to synchronize their movements, and maybe even share data on hazards and problems.

The real threat here would come not from cars but from human beings hacking the system- this might be the real obstacle to widespread adoption of automated vehicles.

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Someone rightly mentioned Alton Towers earlier. I would like to add the national railway system to that example. If they can't even run a computerised non manual intervention closed system such as on the underground, I would suspend belief that these flying machines in the city are ever going to appear in our lifetimes.

TfL is intending to have driverless trains on the Tube by 2020. The DLR has driverless trains - except of course that the trains have "Passenger Service Agents" on every train who open and close the doors etc and can take over the driving controls, so they aren't truly fully automated.

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Very quickly (<5 years after release) the vast majority of journeys will be made in these vehicles. Those who cling to their cars, either as a hobby, nostalgia or just plain preference, will find that life will be made more and more difficult for them. The giant corps will lobby the government for retrictions on manual cars for 'Elf and Safety' and even on grounds of 'preventing terrorism'. Employers will refuse to accept your 'excuse' if you are late in a manual car - some may insist that you ditch it 'for insurance and compliance' purposes.

Enjoy your car/bike while you can - within ten years you will not have the privilege except on a race track.

10 years is a pretty short period of time, in 2025 I suspect we will still be discussing whether driverless cars will go mainstream. I'm not against it but there will be many barriers (especially in the UK) with law, legislation, politics, vested interests in traditional car industry and the insurance industries etc. The amount of additional sensors & technology required on the vehicle, and making them reliable in all temperatures and weather conditions(snow and ice) will make the manufacturing cost high, reliability could be an issue with service costs and expensive repairs.

The benefits of better road safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists is long overdue, add to that these vehicles won't be able to exceed the speed limit... hang on a minute - most drivers are serial speeders - that's why most of them won't want to embrace it unless forced to.

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If the technology works anyone driving their own car will be as socially acceptable as the guy who lights up in a restaurant and blows smoke into your children's faces- why should my kids be a risk because some diehard wants to take the risk of driving his own vehicle when a computer is a far safer driver?

This is how it will go.

How many decades would it take for that massive shift in attitude?

Most drivers still sneer at economical/small cars, and care only about getting to their destination as fast as possible with little regard for other road users or laws. I can't see how these types would willingly swop their 'quick diesel hatchback/SUV' for a car that doesn't allow speeding or illegal moves?

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How many decades would it take for that massive shift in attitude?

Most drivers still sneer at economical/small cars, and care only about getting to their destination as fast as possible with little regard for other road users or laws. I can't see how these types would willingly swop their 'quick diesel hatchback/SUV' for a car that doesn't allow speeding or illegal moves?

Fairly certain those are the biggest sellers. People buying large engined cars are a bit like the bloke who just bought an expensive carriage, horses & own stables in about 1910. The dumb money.

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Good point.

Plus, legislation tends to lag tech developments. So one could imagine tory party being lobbied by their friends in the City/Insurance industry to attempt to delay the death of the retail motor industry, but it looks inevitable eventually.

If a driverless car is safe enough to be let out on the street then it's safe enough not to require the passenger/owner to need to insure it, except perhaps against 3rd party loss/theft but that ought to be optional.

Prediction: the insurance won't be up to the legislators. At least, not at first.

The industry will move faster, and the manufacturers and dealers will negotiate insurance deals themselves, which they'll offer bundled in to the sale price (competition law might require them to offer a choice). It'll be backed by a regular insurer, but so much cheaper than traditional insurance as to be a no-brainer.

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10 years is a pretty short period of time, in 2025 I suspect we will still be discussing whether driverless cars will go mainstream. I'm not against it but there will be many barriers (especially in the UK) with law, legislation, politics, vested interests in traditional car industry and the insurance industries etc. The amount of additional sensors & technology required on the vehicle, and making them reliable in all temperatures and weather conditions(snow and ice) will make the manufacturing cost high, reliability could be an issue with service costs and expensive repairs.

The benefits of better road safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists is long overdue, add to that these vehicles won't be able to exceed the speed limit... hang on a minute - most drivers are serial speeders - that's why most of them won't want to embrace it unless forced to.

You can buy a mobile phone for £2.99. Tech is dirt cheap. Its so cheap you can't give it away. Cars today connect to the internet, connect to your mobile, can obviously thus connect to each other & are controlled by computers. This is simple stuff.

Legislation is already in place. Weve done all that.

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Prediction: the insurance won't be up to the legislators. At least, not at first.

The industry will move faster, and the manufacturers and dealers will negotiate insurance deals themselves, which they'll offer bundled in to the sale price (competition law might require them to offer a choice). It'll be backed by a regular insurer, but so much cheaper than traditional insurance as to be a no-brainer.

Probably yep. Manufacturers routinely sell insurance at POS now for new cars anyway. They have the processes in place already. If safety will be as good as predicted manufacturers will largely self-insure and simply require manufacturer liability insurance. Ofc they will no doubt try and sell some personal liability insurance & damage/loss insurance like mobile phone retailers do but it shouldn't be expensive.

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Yes, but that doesn't mean that lots of people will want to use or own one.

Indeed. It'll distinguish between the two basic classes of driver.

Those who want a lazy way to get from A to B will embrace driverless cars. Whereas those for whom driving is an act of public masturbation will reject them.

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Fairly certain those are the biggest sellers. People buying large engined cars are a bit like the bloke who just bought an expensive carriage, horses & own stables in about 1910. The dumb money.

Despite being a petrol head I always drove sensible economical small cars. One time I was sat in traffic in a city center and surrounded by all the big cars from mercs to range rovers. We were all stuck and I realized the only difference between them and me is every half an hour they throw a tenner out the window and for this privilege there ass is maybe 20% comfier than mine. I love cars but in this country they are a total waste. I just see mine as a transportation device and find other outlets for my love of cars and driving.

I would prefer an app with a robot car. Electric range wouldn't be a problem either because if you wanted to go a big distance you could do a changeover at a station. Although battery tech is changing all the time too so I dont see range issues for much longer anyway.

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10 years is a pretty short period of time, in 2025 I suspect we will still be discussing whether driverless cars will go mainstream.

You forget that we are already several years down the line. These things have been driving around California for years now. Here in MK we have them at the town centre and railway station - the Taxi drivers aren't too happy but the local press ran a story about Taxi Drivers with rape and GBH convictions so that shut them up pretty quick.

By 2025 the argument will be that manual cars will need to be restricted to help with anti-terrorism measures. You have no idea how badly the VI's want this.

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I'm not sure how train operators do this for example, but that would appear to be a similar comparative business model. Passengers don't take out "train insurance" at, say, £500 p.a. to cover them for using trains. Ditto planes. Obviously that cost will ultimately be borne by the user, but via a completely different model.

That raises another question.

Rail costs are high, not least because safety standards are so much higher than roads (if road deaths were priced with the most expensive rail deaths, your year's car insurance would cost more than your car). Could this pave the way for much higher safety standards, and higher costs per road death?

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Nope, still don't really see much point in them other than being able to drive me home from the pub. The odds of getting involved in an accident are small enough that I'm not moved by the safety argument and although I don't drive for the sake of it (although I will often go slower but less dull routes than motorways) I'm not so lazy that I find it much of a chore. Another example of automating for the sake of it.

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Guest eight

Nope, still don't really see much point in them other than being able to drive me home from the pub. The odds of getting involved in an accident are small enough that I'm not moved by the safety argument and although I don't drive for the sake of it (although I will often go slower but less dull routes than motorways) I'm not so lazy that I find it much of a chore. Another example of automating for the sake of it.

I thought like that until about a week ago, then something just switched inside me. I think we're conditioned to think that driving is about choices and self expression when in reality it's little more than a mundane chore.

It might have been a journey down the M62 to Hull that was the trigger for this epiphany.

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You can buy a mobile phone for £2.99. Tech is dirt cheap. Its so cheap you can't give it away. Cars today connect to the internet, connect to your mobile, can obviously thus connect to each other & are controlled by computers. This is simple stuff.

It's really not simple. Bearing in mind the need as one of the posters explained above to cater for all weather - from -20 upwards - and all eventualities. We are talking about near military-grade levels of hardware here. And that isn't simple and doesn't come cheap.

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I thought like that until about a week ago, then something just switched inside me. I think we're conditioned to think that driving is about choices and self expression when in reality it's little more than a mundane chore.

No, that's just you.

And probably also related to the car you are driving and where.

Drive a fast, sporty car on a country road and it's the opposite of a chore. It's a joy.

Edited by Errol
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No, that's just you.

And probably also related to the car you are driving and where.

Drive a fast, sporty car on a country road and it's the opposite of a chore. It's a joy.

Are you calling my Kia Ceed boring? :lol:

No, we have a "fun" car too. I just think it might be something I've done enough, got out of my system if you like. I wouldn't compel anybody else to feel the same way mind, but I think driverless cars are probably a fait accompli by now and there'll be precious little point trying to resist. Sports cars will probably become recreational and used mostly off road - like horses.

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The benefits of better road safety, especially for pedestrians and cyclists is long overdue, add to that these vehicles won't be able to exceed the speed limit... hang on a minute - most drivers are serial speeders - that's why most of them won't want to embrace it unless forced to.

Get yourself down to the local reducation centre comrade they will chip you and will tell you the job your children are assigned to. Thank god there are a few kids pulling wheelies on motorbikes and old buggers driving ancient cars at indecent speeds around Goodwood today.

When cyclists take training as seriously as other road users you might have a point or mobile phone wedded pedestrians stepping out into the road.

You epitomise the phrase perfectly rules are for the obedience of idiots and the guidance of wise men.

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I thought like that until about a week ago, then something just switched inside me. I think we're conditioned to think that driving is about choices and self expression when in reality it's little more than a mundane chore.

It might have been a journey down the M62 to Hull that was the trigger for this epiphany.

It's a mundane chore often but so is sitting in a car while someone else drives the same road, so it being self-driving won't make much difference. That sort of thing though is why I increasingly avoid motorways, they're usually unpleasant, dull things that are only necessary because we've got too many people to manage without them (as long as I'm familar enough with the area to know a plausible alternative).

Confronted with something dull and / or unpleasant and slow my preference is to make it less dull or unpleasant rather than get it out of the way quicker and easier, apparently in contradiction to most of the rest of the population (hence why I dread the future).

Edited by Riedquat
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Get yourself down to the local reducation centre comrade they will chip you and will tell you the job your children are assigned to. Thank god there are a few kids pulling wheelies on motorbikes and old buggers driving ancient cars at indecent speeds around Goodwood today.

When cyclists take training as seriously as other road users you might have a point or mobile phone wedded pedestrians stepping out into the road.

You epitomise the phrase perfectly rules are for the obedience of idiots and the guidance of wise men.

You're not making much sense, I think you misunderstood my comment.

There are two types of cyclist, clearly the other type is 'idiot riding bike'

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You can buy a mobile phone for £2.99. Tech is dirt cheap. Its so cheap you can't give it away. Cars today connect to the internet, connect to your mobile, can obviously thus connect to each other & are controlled by computers. This is simple stuff.

You're talking about gadget tech, electronics only, trivial low risk stuff.

Tech that interfaces with mechanical engineering to safeguard lives, is completely different. Sensors interfacing with moving parts, temperatures, airflow, water, dirt, vibration, damage etc. there will always be a mechanical aspect prone to failure that compromises the tech. The quandary of engineering out failure/safety/cost. I'm all for it, but it will be expensive for a long time I think.

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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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