May 16, 2016

YOUR NEXT CAR WILL BE A VOLT:

Smart cars: how technology is putting the brakes on insurance premiums : From parking with the press of a button to crash-avoidance systems, driving is becoming safer, and cheaper (*Chris Menon, 16 May 2016, The Guardian)

Insurer Swiss Re and technology group Here have anticipated that there will be a huge decrease in car insurance premiums in the coming years as automatic crash-avoidance systems in cars reduce the likelihood of impacts. Premiums in the 14 largest car markets in the world are expected to drop by $20bn (£13.8bn) by 2020 alone, according to their projections.

At present, two versions of the same Ford Focus - one fitted with an automatic braking system that senses if there is going to be an impact, and one without - can command quotes that differ by almost a third, according to a survey by the Observer.

Of the 2.63m new cars registered in 2015, more than 1.5m came with self-activating safety systems, such as collision warning and technology that ensures drivers stay in the right lane. These technologies are used to make driving easier and safer, reducing the risk of accidents and eventually, it is hoped, insurance premiums.

Among the safety features is autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which uses a laser, radar or camera to automatically stop a car if it senses there is going to be a collision. The basic systems kick in up to speeds of 20mph, which will tackle the three-quarters of accidents that occur at city driving speeds. Thatcham Research, motor insurers' automotive research centre, says 75% of collisions occur at speeds of less than 25mph. Manufacturers have different branding for their systems - Volvo calls it "city safety", Honda "city brake active system", Ford "active city stop" and Volkswagen "city emergency braking".

A 2015 study by Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP, international bodies that assess car safety, found that AEB led to a 38% reduction in rear-end crashes. Consequently, insurance claims have reduced on vehicles fitted with it, and insurers are keen to offer discounts.

Posted by at May 16, 2016 5:43 PM

  

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