Tesla Drives Down Insurance Rates with Autopilot Cars
by: Jessica Bosari
April 21st, 2014
Google’s self-driving car is certainly a well-known product initiative, but Google’s not the only company trying to bring this new technology to fruition. Car makers Nissan, Ford and Tesla are all working on cars that can drive themselves.
But, Tesla’s approach could bring automation to the market sooner than expected, and for a much lower cost. Because these cars remove human error from driving, they could save drivers a lot on car insurance rates.
Tesla’s Efforts Might Beat the Competition
Before Tesla entered the fray to build an automated car, no one expected to see one of these cars until at least 2018. According to The Motley Fool, roll-out dates set by the different manufacturers vary:
- Google: 2018
- Nissan: 2020
- Ford: 2025
- Tesla: 2017
Being only a year ahead of Google might not seem like a big deal until you look at the approach Tesla is taking to the technology. Instead of focusing on fully automated cars, an idea that is not appealing to most consumers, Tesla is focusing on autopilot features, much like those used in airplanes.
Additionally, Tesla’s Model S will use more traditional technologies like micro-cameras and radar, bringing down the cost of automation. Other manufacturers have been working primarily with a 3D imaging system called LIDAR, which is a new and expensive technology.
Tesla’s approach to automation might be more appealing to consumers as well. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, told Bloomberg, “Self-driving sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.” And because Telsa can produce the technology more quickly and cheaply, the company might help drivers enjoy the benefits of saving on car insurance rates sooner rather than later.
Photo credit: mark.warren