Like a Broke Neighbor. . .

“The medium to long term impact on the insurance industry is likely to be significant,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

“The medium to long term impact on the insurance industry is likely to be significant,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

The impact of what? The increasing lack of vehicular impacts.

That is, it is estimated that autonomous vehicles will be involved in significantly fewer traffic accidents, on the order of 80% by 2035.

Volvo XC90 Drive Me

Still closer in time: Swiss Re, a reinsurer, and HERE, a provider of GPS maps and services, conducted a study that was released earlier this month that calculates that by 2020 automated driving technologies, on a global basis, could reduce insurance premiums by $20-billion.

Which means drivers could potentially save money. But it wouldn’t work out so well for the insurance companies as vehicle insurance accounts for some 42% of all non-life gross insurance premiums.

What fracking has done to the petroleum industry, autonomous driving could do to the insurance industry.

As Samuelsson pointed out, however, “But let’s not forget the real reason for this—fewer accidents, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities.”

Autonomous driving is a boon to safety, not just a means of eliminating boredom in bumper-to-bumper commutes.

And, depending on whether market acceptance helps drive down the costs of the autonomous tech such that consumers can at the very least be safe(r) and save money on their insurance costs.