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How Will Driverless Trucks Affect HGV Fleet Insurance Prices?




How Will Driverless Trucks Affect HGV Fleet Insurance Prices?

The government has made large and several investments into the research and development of automated vehicles. This is due to their belief that automated vehicles have the potential to make road transport safer and more efficient for all. Yet, with HGV vehicles, qualified drivers will still need to be present in the vehicle until a method of safe driverless long-haul routes is implemented therefore the human element is still vital in the operation of driverless HGV trucks. What does that mean for insurance prices? With rapidly moving advancements in technology, it is inevitable for there to be a disruption in the transit industry changing the way we move goods. With big names such as Amazon and Tesla developing and trialing the use of driverless trucks, the impact in the insurance industry is sure to follow. There is a possible shift to driverless trucks in the near future due to its advantages in both safety and efficiency compared to traditional practises, i.e. a driver and a truck, as error is less likely to occur.

As insurance brokers base their insurance premiums on risk factors such as age, driving experience and diving history. Theoretically with a driverless vehicle, these risk factors are eliminated as it is no longer a person driving the vehicle but a computer. With this, human risk is eliminated. If driverless trucks become the norm, there is a predicted decline in accidents. Following this way of thinking, with little or no risk, insurance premiums will drop and insurance will become more affordable as error is mitigated. Yet, although much smaller in likelihood than human error, computer malfunctions are a real possibility causing accidents on the road. Driverless trucks may also introduce a new elements of danger into road safety such as cybercrime and hacking. Even with driverless cars, the human element cannot be completely mitigated. The possibility of theft will still exist and human third parties can still cause accidents. Even with the advancement of cheap technology, the roads will never be completely risk and accident free as damage and accidents will still inevitably occur both through human and computer error.

Although the price of truck insurance will surely decline as the implementation and popularity of driverless trucks increase, the need for insurance is still necessary as not every risk can be eliminated.

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