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Westchester County Auto Insurance: Are we ready for Driverless Cars?

Westchester County Auto Insurance Are we ready for Driverless CarsWestchester County Auto Insurance: Are we ready for Driverless Cars?

In a blog post from earlier this year, entitled “The Future of Driving”, we discussed the self-driving car, one of Google’s innovations that will be driven by its data and computer power. As we mentioned, there are a number of hurdles that driverless cars must go through before they have a normal presence on the road, but some experts say that could be sooner than later. Companies such as Google and Nissan are on track to bring these vehicles into reality and onto our roads possibly as soon as 2015. Many experts believe that human drivers could be completely removed from behind the wheel by 2040. What do you think, are we ready for driverless cars?

The largest benefit of driverless cars is quite clear; fewer vehicle collisions on the road. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 34,080 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2012- up 5.3% from 2011 and the first year-to-year increase since 2005. A good number of these accidents were found to be caused by distracted driving. The sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communication available in driverless cars are more accurate and less able to be distracted than a human driver.

Other advantages of driverless cars include the ability for the elderly and disabled to get to wherever they need to be, and the reduced need to search everywhere for an available parking spot; your car will be able to do this on its own! While this may seem like something out of a science fiction movie, this can be and will be a reality.

As far as if we are ready, there are some concerns about driverless cars. Critics worry about how computer error may endanger lives on the road, particularly at high-speeds. Currently, the Google driverless car’s sensors are unable to cope with poor weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow-covered streets. In addition, many aspects of driving depend on small gestures and signals. Would a driverless car know how to stop or slow down for a construction project? Other situations like giving the right of way or waiting one’s turn at a stop sign appear to be issues of judgment that would be hard to perform without a human brain.

No matter how we feel about our readiness, it may be necessary to prepare for this reality regardless. State Senator of New York, Greg Ball, has introduced a bill that would authorize operation of “autonomous” cars on New York roads. The legislation will allow Toyota, in partnership with Google, to test these vehicles. According to the release announcing this development, California, Florida, and Nevada have also introduced legislation to allow the testing of these vehicles.

It is most likely safe to say that auto insurance is due for a change in the future, once these driverless cars become available for the general public. Regardless, you can look to A.J. Benet, Inc. for your Westchester County Auto Insurance needs. We take pride in the relationships we have established for our individual clients, addressing their changing insurance needs as milestone in their lives occur. For more information about the coverages we have available, please contact us at (888) 639-4560.

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