Love them or loathe them, autonomous vehicles are the future. In fact, they are not even a distant future as manufacturers are expected to start rolling out their first partly-autonomous vehicles over the next two years. There are all kinds of debates about whether this new technology is good, bad, dangerous, safe, or whether it will kill the auto insurance industry.
Many of these questions will be tackled at the first Canadian Conference on Autonomous Vehicles, this April 19 and 20, hosted by the Conference Board of Canada. Called “Planning the Next Disruptive Technology” the event could be construed as a meeting of those who are utterly opposed to autonomous vehicles, but that it not the case.
Indeed, speakers from all areas and opinions will be at the conference and the truth is, autonomous vehicle technology is disruptive. It will transform numerous industries, including auto insurance, car manufacturing, city planning, and more. The Conference Board points this out in the promotional material for the upcoming event:
“Several manufacturers have indicated that automated vehicles will be on the market by 2020. As it stands, many Canadian jurisdictions simply aren't ready for a future that includes AVs. To ensure a positive driver less future, we need to start planning now.”
Barrie Kirk, Executive Director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE), will be one of the speakers at the event and he is explicit in his belief that autonomous vehicles will shake numerous industries over the next decade to quarter of a century, speaking to Collision Repair Magazine, he said:
“My message was, starting about 2020, the auto insurance business model is going to be severely disrupted, for all kinds of reason that are coming together just now … We think there will be about 80 percent fewer collisions, and therefore 80 percent fewer cars that need repair.”
He adds that manufacturers are already agreeing to assume liability by including a liability life bundle for claims into the cost of the car. That will cause significant turmoil in the auto insurance industry as the industry will have less claims to process, with manufacturers potentially setting up their own insurance products.