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Car Insurance For Self-Driving Cars: Explained

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It will interesting to see how the insurance industry handles car insurance for self-driving vehicles when they are finally out on the market. Due to the vehicle’s high-technological features, self-driving cars will be very expensive.  The higher the value of the vehicle, the higher the insurance premiums you will pay. 

Defined Universal Classification System of Automation Levels For Motor Vehicles

Self Autonomous Driving car

The society of Automotive Engineers International has established a defined universal classification system of automation levels for motor vehicles. The levels are as follows:

  • Level 0 – No automated features, no automation.
  • Level 1 – Driver Assistance, this level requires drivers to perform all critical functions but the vehicle has some intelligent features which add a level of comfort and safety.
  • Level 2 – Partial Automation, the driver must remain engaged with the driving task at all times, but the vehicle has at least two automated tasks that are managed by the vehicle. 
  • Level 3 – Conditional Automation – The driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times, however, the vehicle becomes the co-pilot and manages most safety-critical driving functions.
  • Level 4 – High Automation – The driver may have the option to control the vehicle, but the vehicle is capable of performing all driving functions under certain conditions.
  • Level 5 – Full Automation – No need for a human driver as the vehicle is capable of performing full-time automated driving in all conditions. The vehicle is capable of being completely driverless. 

In January 2019, the government of Ontario approved Level 3 autonomous vehicles can be owned and operated by the public on Ontario roads. However, to date, there are no Level 3 autonomous vehicles available for sale on the market. 

How Will Self-Driving Cars Affect Insurance?

saving money on car insurance

It is unknown at this time how self-driving cars will affect insurance. There is still a lot more testing to be done on these new high-technology vehicles. 

Will Self-Driving Cars Lower Insurance?

No. Self-driving cars will typically be higher to insure, due to the value of the vehicles and to their unknown related risk.

Who Bears The Insurance For The Self-Driven Cars?

In Ontario, it is the law that the owner of a vehicle must register the vehicle and purchase car insurance, therefore the onus will still remain on the driver. 

What Year Will There Be Self-Driving Cars?

The original goal to manufacture and release the sale of self-driving cars in Ontario was the year 2020. However, as testing and innovative research continues it is unknown exactly when these vehicles will be available for purchase to the public.   

Are Self-Driving Cars Legal in Canada?

legal

In January 2019, the government of Ontario approved Level 3 autonomous vehicles can be owned and operated by the public on Ontario roads. 

Organizations Permitted to Test Self-Driving Cars in Canada

The government of Ontario granted a few organizations in Canada permission to start testing self-driving cars. Some of these organizations are: 

  • Blackberry
  • University of Waterloo’s Center for Automotive Research
  • Erwin Hymer Group
  • GM
  • Ford
  • QNX
  • Renesas
  • QNX

Blackberry

Blackberry entered into an agreement with Ford, the auto manufacturing company. The agreement between Blackberry and Ford pertains to Blackberry developing software technology for Ford self-driving vehicles. Blackberry’s main focus has now switched from hand-held mobile devices to developing Ford’s software technology.

Erwin Hymer Group

It is currently unknown what the German-based company Erwin Hymer Group’s focus will be pertaining to self-driving vehicles. They may have an interest in testing self-driving motorhomes.

University of Waterloo’s Center for Automotive Research

The University of Waterloo’s Center for Automotive Research has now partnered with several auto manufacturers to test its newest vehicle technologies and report their findings to the respective automotive companies. This will enable many of the auto manufacturers to fine-tune or enhance their own versions of self-driving cars.

Why Ontario Would Be A Great Choice For Testing Self-Driving Vehicles

Ontario would be the perfect place to test self-driving vehicles due to the extreme fluctuation in the weather. Self-driving vehicles need to be tested on all road conditions to get a true picture of their safety. Ontario is also far more lenient than our U.S. counterparts when it comes to limits on testing. Ontario allows for fewer limits which will advance the testing process. 

What Are Ontario’s Regulations For Testing Self-Driving Cars?

In Ontario, only companies that have been granted permission by the Ontario government can test self-driving vehicles. When testing a self-driving vehicle, the vehicle can travel anywhere but there must be a licenced driver in the vehicle at all times. 

Tesla – Innovative Driving

Tesla model s

Tesla is the future of driving. Standard features of all new Tesla cars include advanced hardware capable of providing autopilot features today, and advanced hardware capabilities for full-self-driving in the future. Tesla has the innovative ability to provide software updates that will provide improved functionality moving forward. 

Features of New Tesla Vehicles

All new Tesla vehicles are constructed with state of the art advanced hardware including:

  • Advanced Sensor Coverage – 
  • 40X The Increased Processing Power
  • Tesla Vision
  • Autopilot
  • Autopilot Navigation 
  • Autosteer
  • Smart Summon
  • Hardware for Future Full Self-Driving Capabilities

Summary

Although self-driving cars are grabbing the interest of many they are also causing a lot of unrest among drivers who are not convinced about this new technology.  Most believe that it is going to be the way of the future when it comes to driving. It will raise all kinds of questions and concerns which it is already doing but these will be addressed in due time. In the meantime, with Level 3 being approved for Ontario there are many that feel excited and feel that they can benefit from this type of vehicle. It doesn’t mean that anyone that does not have a licence can drive these automated cars. Does this raise the question as to whether one day this may be the case? For some, they believe yes while others are adamant about it being no way.

Automation in vehicles is not something that is going to come to a standstill. For those who are wary about self-driving cars they are going to have to accept the fact that there are here albeit under very strict regulations, but the time will come where anyone wishing to buy a car will have choices among these.

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