94 million connected cars are expected to be shipped in 2021, according to the Business Insider. It was also reported that 82% of all cars shipped in that year will be connected to the internet and other types of technology. While this type of innovative technology has the ability to introduce elements into the driving process such as calculate routes bask on risk analysis, more efficient GPS systems, and even the ability to use facial recognition to monitor and reduce stress on the road, it also brings about questions of insurance coverage and overall safety.
Technology leading to more accidents, higher insurance rates
As vehicles and other devices become more loaded with technology, drivers are beginning to become more distracted, which has led to an increase in accidents on the road and therefore affected the state of car insurance rates all over the world.
One study in the UK reported that this type of automation and certain kinds of automated technology that aim to remove driving demands, “may tempt drivers to engage in distracting activities.” It may come as no surprise, then that between October and December 2017 average car insurance premiums rose to £481, a rise of 9% from the previous year, making for the eighth successive quarter in which premiums have risen.
One of the biggest changes in the auto insurance industry came about when app-driven ride-sharing companies began to employ drivers. For example, a driver for Uber may have different insurance needs than someone who uses a car for strictly personal related reasons. As well, technology such as self-driving cars raises legal and operational questions for insurers in terms of who is going to handle liability, and ultimately take responsibility for a supposedly fully-automated vehicle.
Certain tech can lead to increased safety
Don’t let these stats have you feeling weary about technology and autos. While this type of connectivity can provide distractions for some drivers, it actually leads to more sophisticated GPS and entertainment systems that can lead to more efficient driving. Because drivers now have access to various apps that make driving a less strenuous process, such as finding less congested routes or staying updated on potential road hazards, they can improve their focus and reduce their stress.
Honda’s Automated Network Assistant, for example, uses a heart rate monitor and face recognition to detect when you’re stressed in order to understand when to suggest that you take a break. This emotionally-intelligent driving assistant can also take this data and make music suggestions based on your mood in order to decrease stress and facilitate a more relaxed driving experience.
Changing the way we live
While automotive technology can lead to more distractions on the road, there seem to be more benefits to this life-changing innovation in terms of providing safer driving opportunities while redefining the limitations of both personal and public transportation. Research shows that by allowing automated cars to take over, there will be fewer accidents than there would be if left to human driver error possibilities. By allowing artificial intelligence to calculate data based on behaviors and statistics, there exists the opportunity of not only reducing accidents, but reducing insurance premiums and the overall stress that drivers feel on the road every day.