AIG survey finds people think autonomous vehicle drivers should have auto insurance

Published: October 4, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



A recent survey commissioned by American Insurance Group (AIG) in the United States found that more than four in five think owners of fully autonomous vehicles should have auto insurance. However, more than a third believe safety concerns will delay or prevent the availability of such vehicles.

Driverless vehicles are not yet available in any capacity and full autonomy is not expected for at least a decade.

The U.S. Federal Autonomous Vehicles Policy sets out the following SAE criteria (paraphrased) for determining automation:

  • SAE Level 0 – human does everything, like current cars
  • SAE Level 1 – some in-car systems can aid the human in the operation of the vehicle
  • SAE Level 2 – the autonomous tech can complete some driving tasks, but human monitoring is needed.
  • SAE Level 3 – the system conducts some driving and monitors some of the environment, but human must be ready as backup
  • SAE Level 4 – the system can conduct driving tasks without any input from humans. However, the system only works under some conditions. This is where the current market is.

SAE Level 5 is full autonomy which mean the car can perform all tasks without passenger input. AIG published the results of its Autonomous Vehicle Insights study that was conducted amongst 1,000 adult Americans.

“On average,” respondents “think it will take 22 years for driverless vehicles with no active input from human drivers to represent more than 20 percent of the vehicles on the road and that it will take 34 years before the autos make up the majority of vehicles in the U.S.,” AIG said Oct. 3 in a release.

The study was conducted in collaboration with McLaughlin & Associates and Pinkston Group. In the survey, participants “could select up to three options that they felt were the most significant factors delaying or preventing the wide availability of driverless vehicles.” More than half (55%) said costs will be too high and 41% said both that “computer systems won’t be adequately secured” and “people enjoy driving too much.” Over a third (35%) said they believe autonomous vehicles will never be safe enough.