Transportation Industry to be Transformed by Autonomous Driving?

In 2016, the idea of autonomous trucking was brought to life. The future of driving on the highway and looking up to an empty cabin an 18-wheeler is upon us, but how will that impact the trucking insurance industry?

New technological developments are always on the horizon, but determining how this will impact your trucking clients has the potential to be a huge challenge in the future. In this article, we’ll explore the impacts of autonomous driving and the implications it has on Transportation Insurance.

Developing Autonomous Vehicles

The word “autonomous” is used lightly in these circumstances, as these trucks are not completely self-driven. In the tests runs in 2016, there was a professional driver on board who navigated the truck onto the highway, then controlled it with the autonomous technology until it approached its exit 120 miles down the road.

In approximately 20-30 years, the transportation industry is expected to see completely autonomous vehicles. However, in the interim, while technology improves, the public has time to acclimate to the idea of semi-trucks being technically unmanned. As technology failure is still a concern, complete autonomy isn’t going to happen overnight. Still, research and testing are progressing.

Safety and Development

According to Insight + Analysis Magazine, last year the Department of Transportation released the first federal guidelines for testing and deploying autonomous vehicles. The 15-point safety assessment provides automated vehicle performance guidance for manufacturers, developers, and other organizations. The assessment process is intended to set clear expectations for manufacturers developing and deploying automated vehicle technologies.

Transportation Insurance’s Changing Needs

So, what does this mean for insurance? Currently, transportation risks are evaluated based on safety ratings, loss history, and the driver’s personal driving record. In the future, however, more technological assets in the truck and on any autonomous driving systems will need to be factored in.

For example, what technology have they added to their equipment? Collision mitigation systems, electronic stability control, lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control systems, event recorders, to name a few. All these technologies help prevent crashes, while event recorders can provide video of the eight seconds before and four seconds after a crash in order to establish facts, defend driver actions and assist in monitoring and training drivers.

The more technology a motor carrier uses, the better risk they are to a carrier. In the years ahead, insurance providers will need to encourage these investments, recognize the risk acceptance and pricing considerations involved, and understand the implications for when a loss event occurs, states the article.

About Genesee General

At Genesee General, we strive to provide quality insurance solutions for the transportation sector. Our longstanding expertise and aggressive claims management have allowed us to successfully serve your clients for over three decades. Our specialized package includes Trucker General Liability, Cargo, fleet and non-fleet, physical damage, Bobtail Liability, excess coverage, and many more. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 282- 8755.