Allstate predicts that autonomous cars will have an impact on the insurance industry
Driverless vehicles may pose a potential threat to the auto insurance industry, according to Allstate. The company has filed its annual 2015 report, suggesting that autonomous cars could impact the industry in a significant manner. These vehicles are equipped with technology that take the human equation out of driving. Most car accidents are caused by human error, which makes the need for insurance coverage quite abundant. Allstate is concerned that autonomous vehicles will reduce the need for insurance coverage or, at the very least, lead to a shift in liability away from drivers.
Hackers have gained control of driverless vehicles in the past
In Allstate’s latest annual report, the insurer outlines concerns regarding the potential for driverless vehicles to be susceptible to hacking. The technology that driverless cars rely on technology, which allows them to avoid accidents. This technology can be tampered with, however, as hackers were able to easily demonstrate in 2015. Researchers from the University of Cork’s Computer Security Group were able to hack into the LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems that autonomous vehicles use to operate effectively. The team was able to take control of these vehicles, bringing them to unexpected halts and causing other issues.
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Hackers may be able to gain access to a vehicle through its telematics technology
Allstate notes that telematics technology can also be used as a way for unauthorized persons to connect to a vehicle’s computing system, resulting in theft or damage. Telematics technology is becoming more popular, as the demand for usage-based auto insurance coverage grows. This technology is used to track driving habits, used by insurers to price coverage more effectively. Hackers may be able to exploit this technology to gain access to consumer information which may become a major liability issue in the future.
In the future, car accidents may be due to faulty technology rather than human error
Autonomous vehicles may also lead to a shift in liability, with the companies responsible for the technology these vehicles use being held accountable for car accidents. As driverless vehicles remove the human equation from driving, accidents caused by these vehicles will be due to software and technological failure, which drivers may not be responsible for unless they tamper with the vehicle’s equipment intentionally.