Technology-Assisted Driving and the Implication on Car Insurance

By now, almost everyone has heard of Google’s driver-less car project. Despite not having an official name yet (just don’t call it “Google Drive”), the project is already calling to mind the same believable perspective shift that was recently seen in autostereoscopic 3D and augmented reality.

Safety is still top priority when on the road. Perhaps the question on Google’s new venture is how it can manage to control/drive the vehicle under hazardous roads or circumstances. It’s good that cities like Portland can rely on government websites such as, which gives locals useful advice when driving under hazardous circumstances. But how can Google’s driver-less car predict such a situation? Here are some things that this new project must incorporate in their programming:

  • Detecting black ice, also known as clear ice or glare ice
  • Avoid driving through snow drifts
  • Hydroplaning conditions when driving in the rain

Google’s project promises a future with significantly increased motorist safety. As it stands, according to the latest International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) report, about 70% of the driving-related accidents in Australia between 2007 and 2011 have resulted in car occupant fatalities. Other countries aren't faring much better. New Zealand also posts a figure nearing 70%; and Aviva’s findings confirm the “hard working, hard partying” lifestyle of the Irish, led to the 60% driver fatality rate as stated in the IRTAD report.

A Possible Evolution of Insurance Policies

That said, we shouldn't think that car insurance policies would remain dormant and not evolve with future driving trends. For instance, one of the promising implications of driver-less cars is that their on-board computers are expected to record the driving habits of their owners, using the data to help drivers adjust their manual handling vis-à-vis the ideal (in theory) AI handling. This means insurance companies will have a ready record on hand for how qualified a person is as a policy holder.