The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the SELF DRIVING ACT. The caps are deliberate. The act’s title is Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution. It sets federal standards for self-driving vehicles and basically says individual states cannot limit or expand what should be in a vehicle or have a say in how it operates.
To date self-driving vehicles are a mixed-bag with the public. Or so says a new study from AIG titled AIG’s Autonomous Vehicle Insights. Concerns range from feeling safe inside a vehicle that drives itself to hacking of the computer system that runs the vehicle.
And the positives and negatives are a dead heat:
• 41% are uncomfortable sharing the road with a vehicle that drives itself
• 42% are pretty okay with the thought of sharing the road with one that drives itself
A whopping 75% are concerned that hackers can take over a vehicle and control emergency braking, lane departure avoidance and other features. Another worry — by 67% — is a cyber breach that gives hackers access to credit card information, when and where people travel and control of the vehicle’s computer system.
Then there’s privacy issues like knowledge of who is in the vehicle and the potential to record private conversations.
When it comes to actual driving:
• 39% think an autonomous vehicle operates more safely than a vehicle where someone is behind the wheel
• 27% don’t think they are as safe as one driven by a human
• 31% don’t think an automated vehicle can drive as safely as they do
At that point, the researchers asked people to give them three benefits and what appeals most to them about a driverless vehicle:
• 44% said easier, less-stressful transportation
• 42% said increased safety on the roads
• 39% listed lower insurance costs
Responsibility is another positive. AIG’s Lex Baugh said many responding like the idea of shifting the responsibility for accidents from individual drivers to auto manufacturers and software developers.
“As we move from autonomous features to fully driverless vehicles, risk does not disappear — it shifts from humans to machines. Understanding consumer perceptions of where risk with new technology ultimately resides today will help industry and insurers understand where liability may lie tomorrow,” he said.
He listed the example of a driverless vehicle striking a pedestrian:
• 50% think the automaker is most liable
• 37% say it’s the software provider
• 23% believe the driver is responsible
• 19% say it is the vehicle’s owner
For vehicles in an accident that aren’t totally self-driving but have automated assistance via technology:
• 54% say the driver is most liable
• 33% say it’s the software provider
• 27% go with the automaker
Good news for insurers and for insurance agents. AIG’s Gaurav Garg said 81% think no matter what, whoever purchases or rides in a fully automated vehicle must have insurance. And a whopping 35% believe those premiums should be lower than those for humans behind the wheel.
“The need for personal auto insurance will not go away as driverless cars emerge. Though without doubt, we will see shifting of liability in certain scenarios. There are many ways for the driverless vehicle story to unfold over the next several years. It is critical for insurers to carefully watch the trend to help prepare clients — both consumers and businesses,” he said.
All of this — AIG says — is maybe a moot point. On average those taking the survey say it’ll be 22-years before 20% autos on the road are run completely without human assistance. They think it’ll be 34-years before they make up the majority of vehicles on the road.
• 55% say they’ll be too expensive
• 41% say computers won’t be secure enough
• 41% say people just like driving themselves too much
• 35% say the vehicles won’t be safe enough
Source links: Insurance Journal, Wired