New Driverless Car Insurance Policy Is Basically Made for Teslas
We promise, this is the only time we’ll talk about insurance today.
Normally, insurance is the third-least sexy subject in the universe, falling squarely between "sea cucumbers" and "Roseanne Barr in lingerie" at the dregs of the sexiness scale. But add a dose of autonomous vehicles into the mix, and suddenly, insurance gets a lot more interesting.
Okay, maybe not a lot more interesting. But interesting enough to warrant a mention.
Two days ago on June 7, futuristically-named insurance company Aeon Adrian Flux announced it has begun offering customers in the United Kingdom special insurance policies designed specifically for self-driving cars. Considering truly autonomous cars are still years away, offering insurance for them today might seem about as logical as selling meteor impact protection to the operators of Elon Musk's Mars ship. So the British company's new plans are targeted instead at the rapidly-growing fleet of cars with semi-autonomous features and other 21st Century technological add-ons.
If hackers break into your car and inflict damage, Adrian Flux will cover it. If the car's self-driving systems cause it to get into an accident, Adrian Flux will pay for the damages. If the carmaker doesn't update the car's autonomous software or other computer systems within 24 hours of announcing a problem and damage occurs as a result—a turnaround time that would all but require it to be performed wirelessly—yup, Adrian Flux will take care of it. (The company does require drivers be ready to assume control at all times, specifically noting that "a driver couldn’t turn on the autopilot and have a nap at the wheel.")
Over-the-air updates, self-driving feature failures, sleepy driver exemptions...if it sounds like this policy is aimed square at the U.K.'s limited number of Tesla owners, that's because it pretty much is. Hell, the only picture on the insurance company's post announcing the measure is a Tesla Model S. Which, the insurance company specifically notes, is equipped with Autopilot.
Other than that, Adrian Flux's self-driving car policies are..basically just your ordinary automotive insurance policy. And if that's the sort of thing you find interesting, The Drive invites you to replace our bookmark with Consumer Reports.