Many publicly traded corporations include risk assessments of rising market opposition in their quarterly reports to stakeholders. In 2016, three businesses – one auto part supplier and three insurers – cited an upsurge in autonomous vehicles. This announcement shocked many, considering autonomous vehicle technology had never previously been mentioned in such reports as a force majeure.
Mercury General, CFC (Cincinnati Financial Corporation), even Travelers– three insurance companies cited in the report – expect accidents to decrease due to autonomous high-tech advances, although there will still be a Los Angeles car accidents attorney working on claims since 100% accident elimination is impossible to expect.
Reports like this leave many wondering: Could autonomous vehicles prevent car accidents?
How automation benefits vehicles
Countless auto manufacturers produce partially autonomous vehicles already: blind side assist, autonomous braking, parking assist, even adaptive cruise control. Driver technologies developed on a smaller scale are building blocks to making vehicles fully autonomous. When this happens, fleet vehicles will see such benefits as:
- Declining accidents. 4 out of 10 vehicles are involved in traffic accidents annually. Autonomous vehicles, when fully in operation, could significantly reduce the number of driver errors and road fatalities that force Los Angeles car accidents attorney litigation leading to lofty settlements. The focal point in designing fully autonomous vehicles will be crash avoidance instead of crash survival. Healthcare delivery companies and those offering expedited delivery services will be the early adopters within the fleet world.
- Increase in driver productivity. Driver distractions, such as checking manifests or responding to calls or texts, add an unnecessary component of risk to fleet owners. By fully automating the driver experience, personnel can more productively use their time in transit, preparing deliveries, doing last-second reading or other tasks as needed which driving prevented before.
- Maximizes utilization of vehicles. Instead of personnel wasting company time waiting on vehicles to free up, wouldn’t having one autonomous vehicle to serve multiple employee needs be righteous? This could allow drivers to be more productive in loading vehicles or performing other tasks often taken up by driving.
- Expand fuel efficiency. Not only will pointless rerouting or excess driving be problematic, self-governing vehicles can communicate with each other to convey traffic information and then preemptively change courses to avoid congestion.
(Potentially) Disruptive characteristics of automated vehicles
Notwithstanding another form of tech replacing automated conveyances, the following traits are expected in autonomous vehicles of the future:
- Cost of ownership hike. Indisputably, costs of autonomous technology ownership will increase because it’s convenience-driven. However, after considering the decrease in fuel and maintenance, overall cost of ownership will slowly decrease once the market expands.
- Uber-style “on demand”. Autonomous vehicles may end up being another Uber, summoned on demand when companies need delivery or transport. This means companies hiring fleets will only pay per use, not flat rates plus mileage expenses. Could fleet companies become somewhat of a “boutique service”?
- Decrease in ticket revenue. Unintentional consequences of autonomous technology in fleet vehicles, such as parking in loading zones or speeding, would be all but eliminated. This takes away revenue from local police departments – could this hurt?
Self-governing vehicles are beginning to knock on efficiency’s door, and with every passing year, we revisit something similar: will futuristic vehicles cut down on accidents and increase fleet productivity, or is this notion merely a misguided hypothesis?
According to insurance companies and auto parts suppliers, this up-and-coming threat to their revenues is real – and within reach of full scale use. However, until such tech is implemented, accidents will continue, and your Los Angeles car accidents attorney will still have plenty of reason to hold fleets, cars, trucks and every vehicle between accountable.