Self Driving Vehicles are Cool … And They Make me Sad

The new Tesla update with the Smart Summon feature is super cool but it also makes me sad. We are getting closer and closer to truly autonomous driving cars and I believe the roads will be much safer as a result. This videos of people summoning their cars to them are very cool.

Of course, this change will also mean the nature of auto insurance will change. This guy’s tweet using the Summin feature when a fender bender happens hits the nail on the head.

Whose fault is it when an autonomous car has an accident. The auto insurance market is going to change dramatically. I think there is a really good chance that actually driving your own car will be the privilege of the wealthy alone, because no one else will be able afford insurance.

Insurance is a shared pool of risk. It is cheap when the pool of people sharing the risk is large and the risk itself isn’t so great. Fewer people driving their own vehicles will shrink the size of the pool, thus increasing the price, and the risk of a person driven car will be much greater than the risk of a driverless vehicle, thus again increasing the cost. It is a perfect storm to raise auto insurance to astronomical prices or make it where all you can do is “self insure” (i.e. have the funds to pay a $100,000 claim).

I’m excited about self driving vehicles for safety reasons but I’m sadden to think that one day not to far away neither I nor my kids will be able afford to drive the Mustang.

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