Today's babies may never need to learn to drive, says insurance boss

midian182

Posts: 5,850   +48
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With so many firms pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into R&D, it’s hard to deny that self-driving vehicles are the future. The biggest question now, it seems, is at what point will they make up the majority of cars on the road?

Intel, which is working with BMW and Mobileye (a company it recently acquired) on autonomous vehicle tech, believes the revolution won’t take as long to arrive as some people think. On Friday, the chip maker said self-driving cars would create a new economic sector, called “the Passenger Economy,” which will be worth $800 billion by 2035, rising to $7 trillion by 2050.

Should predictions of the technology turning mainstream prove accurate, could it result in driving becoming a redundant skill? That’s the view of top UK insurance firm AXA’s boss, Amanda Blanc, who says that driving a vehicle is something today's babies may never have to do.

"Babies born today may never have to take a driving test," she told The Telegraph.

Not only does Blanc believe that self-driving cars will become the norm sooner than expected, but she also warns that insurance companies must prepare a framework for the time when accidents are the result of computer error, rather than a human’s fault.

"Driverless cars will not be able to take to the roads [without that],” she added.

The technology is expected to be "much safer and increase mobility for vulnerable members of society," though there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to the former, as Uber and Google will attest.

Many people still view self-driving cars with a raised eyebrow, and there are those that do actually enjoy driving, but with so many governments, companies, and other entities seemingly certain of a future filled with autonomous vehicles, maybe driving really will become a dying art.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,201   +5,588
While the relevance of the article is true, never count out American's love affair with the automobile. There will always be a ground that will go to extensive lengths to maintain their "freedom" to drive as well as the nostalgia of simply owning a car. They may be considered the non-conformist, outlaws of the road or misfits, but they will have their cars and will drive them as they see fit.
 
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amstech

Posts: 2,643   +1,801
Bring up one of those automated cars in Upstate NY during the winter. Give it one trillion sensors to detect ice, snow, traction, etc etc, with AWD and state of the art technology. We'll put it up against a drunk teenager during a whiteout on blackice and see who stays on the road longer before sliding off, ramming a car, killing someone at stop sign or flipping over and rolling down the side of a mountain road snowmobiles use.
 
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Adhmuz

Posts: 2,019   +812
Honestly you would think insurance companies would be against the concept of self driving cars entirely. Once saturation is high enough and the technology governing these vehicles hits maturity accidents will be a thing of the past negating the need for insurance completely. I wouldn't see the point to paying insurance on something I have zero control over, it would need to be the responsibility of the manufacturer if computer error causes a collision.

It really is sad that driving has become so uninteresting to so many people that they can't do it, be bothered to do it or even want to to it. And then there are all these people who do it so badly that the need has arose to take the privilege away from them or at a minimum give the control over to something far more capable then themselves.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,512   +839
As someone from southern California, who spends most of their time in rush hour traffic commuting to and from work, I really look forward to the self driving car revolution. There was a recent Star Talk podcast about this with lots of info on how and what things will change and how it will likely be phased in.
https://www.startalkradio.net/show/rise-self-driving-cars/
To be fair, Southern Cali is probably the worst environment to develop self-driving cars. Its like training to run a marathon, and then actually entering a triathlon. The roads are smooth, dry, and clearly painted. If you really want to train your car, it needs to be developed in some place like Alaska, Washington, or Maine; places where you'll get every kind of weather and road condition imaginable.
 

antiproduct

Posts: 139   +154
To be fair, Southern Cali is probably the worst environment to develop self-driving cars. Its like training to run a marathon, and then actually entering a triathlon. The roads are smooth, dry, and clearly painted. If you really want to train your car, it needs to be developed in some place like Alaska, Washington, or Maine; places where you'll get every kind of weather and road condition imaginable.
Oh I totally agree, not the best place to train the AI at all, but it would offer the a massive benefit to those who live here. Just think of the number of hours saved by LA (and other large cities) eliminating traffic. I would imagine that the first several generations would have a hybrid mode between fully automatic and manual control, so in certain areas/conditions automatic would be available (or enforced eventually) whereas others would require manual control. Also, the manual control would appease the car people who really love to drive... but I guess we'll see what happens.
 

Camikazi

Posts: 981   +339
Honestly you would think insurance companies would be against the concept of self driving cars entirely. Once saturation is high enough and the technology governing these vehicles hits maturity accidents will be a thing of the past negating the need for insurance completely. I wouldn't see the point to paying insurance on something I have zero control over, it would need to be the responsibility of the manufacturer if computer error causes a collision.

It really is sad that driving has become so uninteresting to so many people that they can't do it, be bothered to do it or even want to to it. And then there are all these people who do it so badly that the need has arose to take the privilege away from them or at a minimum give the control over to something far more capable then themselves.
Accidents will go down (meaning they have to pay out less) but you can GUARANTEE they will make sure that insurance will ALWAYS be needed, meaning they make more money. They will lobby, bribe and blackmail whoever they have to to keep insurance a requirement where they have it.