Need for Multi-driver Policy to Soon be in the Past?
- Created: 15 March 2018
When you consider that more than 90 per cent of road accidents are caused by driver error, it becomes easier to understand why finding cheap multi-driver van insurance can sometimes seem so difficult, usually requiring a trawl of multiple internet van insurance comparison sites using the search terms "multi-driver van insurance".
However, things are changing, both in the commercial vehicle insurance landscape and in the wider world of vans, with autonomous vehicles looking like an increasingly inevitable feature of the future. This is not to say they are just around the corner; there are still insurance liability and technological issues to be worked through, but there is now little doubt that within the next decade fleet managers will at least have the option of autonomous commercial vehicles.
But that isn't necessarily a good thing. Sure, fleet managers and business owners might be freed from their multi-driver van insurance obligations, but will the autonomous alternative actually be any cheaper and will driverless vehicles fulfil the remit required? This, of course, remains to be seen.
Perhaps fleet managers will no longer even have their own vans. Perhaps the whole ownership model will be different. Perhaps large companies will have huge fleets of autonomous commercial vehicles for hire, and when business owners need them they will simply call them in a similar way to how Joe Public does today when he wants to order a taxi or Uber. Connectivity options may also allow business owners to pool their needs so that they can share services with other owners. Much in the same way we speculate that costs could go up, they could also go down and it is almost impossible to predict how this future will pan out.
Cyber security is another unknown and as such is a potential area of concern. If vehicles can be hacked the scope for sabotage, accidents and other misfortunes is vast, particularly if systems are, as is likely to be the case, interconnected. In some extreme projections, it is possible to imagine business rivals effectively engaging in cyber warfare in order to bring down the competition.
Of course, before we even reach this stage it is necessary to first negotiate the myriad of safety, regulatory and insurance issues regarding autonomous vehicles. There are certainly interesting times ahead.