According to the National Safety Council, just over 40,000 people were killed as a result of car-related injuries last year. That’s up 6% from 2015 and is the highest it’s ever been in a decade. Because of this unfortunate fact, insurance companies are now starting to embrace the future of transportation in a very serious way. If you want cheaper rates, then you’re going to have to start relying more on self-driving technology.
That’s what insurance company Root says, at least. Their plan: if you’re a Tesla owner, then download their app and use Tesla’s Autopilot feature. If you were to do this, then they’ll reward you with cheaper rates. But first, you have to prove yourself to the company. How? By downloading their app and create a driving profile over the course of two to three weeks. From there, the company will then determine driver risk, only accepting those deemed “lowest-risk drivers.”
Which is why Root’s latest statement makes sense. Although Tesla’s Autopilot feature isn’t necessarily fully-equipped self-driving technology, Tesla Motors’ constant updating of the system has it increasing its momentum in being the safest method of driving to-date. Once more vehicles, from different companies, become equipped with similar technology, Root will likely include drivers of these vehicles as well.
Five to ten years from now, self-driving technology will hit the mainstream. Nearly every vehicle operating on the road will be equipped with it, just as newer vehicles today are equipped with collision-prevention and self-parking tech. Around that same time, automobile companies will begin experimenting with newer methods of transportation, such as car-sharing services.
Ride-sharing app company Uber has already begun experimenting with this service in New York. Whereas their competitor, Lyft, has released a report titled, “The Third Transportation Revolution.” In this report, they detail what they envision will be the future of transportation – a fleet of app-based, self-driving vehicles that’ll replace privately-owned ones. Which then raises the question: how will insurance companies exist in a future where they’re no longer needed?
The future of driving is here. And we're proud to be the first car insurance company to give it a 🙌.— Root Insurance (@joinroot) March 14, 2017
😏. In all seriousness, we're pretty excited about self-driving cars. (We'll even give you a… https://t.co/R1quOCa78H— Root Insurance (@joinroot) March 14, 2017
Thirty to fifty years from now, privately-owned vehicles will no longer exist. They will go the way of the rotary phone and people will never look back. By this time, the full fruition of what Lyft calls the “Third Transportation Revolution” will have commenced. Nearly every vehicle you’ll see operating on the road will be app-based, self-driving, and will serve as a public utility to be shared among the general population.
They’ll operate 24/7 due to advancements in solar technology, thus doing away with parking spaces. They’ll harness the latest self-driving tech., thus doing away with traffic lights. And they’ll be made completely available to the public for a small monthly subscription fee, thus doing away with lease payments, fuel costs, repair fees, and insurance companies. No matter how progressive companies like Root may appear today, the future they’re wanting their customers to embrace will eventually result in people abandoning companies like them forever. And we’ll all be safer because of it.
Photo Credit: Paul Noth