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Driving your own car is about to get very expensive


As if it wasn't expensive enough...

Driving is already hard on the wallet, and it’s not going to get any better.

The cost of driving your own car could soon skyrocket, and driverless vehicles are to blame.

That’s according to an industry expert, who revealed to TrustedReviews that cars crammed full of technology will drive up insurance rates for conventional motors.

“You’re getting cars with 150 microcontrollers in there,” says Ian Drew, Chief Marketing Officer at chip design giant ARM. “You’re going to get into the realm of what you do with the data, and more interestingly, the weakest link in the car is the driver.”

“So with self-drive cars, the insurance industry will do the same thing they did with airlines, and go ‘we don’t want people flying and smoking at the same time, so we’re going to put rates up’,” he tells us. “If you look at cars, the same things will happen.”

fordFord's driverless car technology

“Insurance on cars will go down with driverless cars, because there will be less accidents,” he adds.

Driverless cars, which ARM builds much of the technology for, are poised to enter the consumer market by around 2020.

Drew, and much of the industry, believe that many consumers won’t actually buy driverless cars, but instead use them as a pseudo-taxi service.

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“The riskiest thing in the car is the driver,” he explains. “So you’ll have a two world situation. You’ll have a world of driverless cars and a world of driver’s cars, and you’ll have a premium if you want to drive your own car.”

“I love driving. I’ll pay extra. But it really depends on how much extra. You’ve got to look at those rates,” adds the former Intel GM.

Are you desperate to switch to driverless cars, or are you only happy when behind the wheel? Let us know in the comments.


February 23, 2016, 4:24 pm

"there will be less accidents"

"Fewer accidents". There, now I can relax.


February 23, 2016, 4:33 pm

He might have meant lesser accidents, i.e. the same number but less severe.

Unfortunately I think less has now been accepted as acceptable because of all that living language nonsense. It's good when language evolves to meet the needs of a changing world but not when it evolves because of people just getting it wrong.

The English language was once wonderfully nuanced; now half the language is unusable due to sexual connotations and the rest has been dumbed down. Innit.


February 23, 2016, 7:28 pm



February 23, 2016, 7:56 pm

Erm there is no mention of the concern that this will just help increase the poverty gap and punish the poor for not being able to afford a costlier driver less car so high insurance for the poorer driver.


February 23, 2016, 8:00 pm

And if they complain - the Government will only say 'Let them eat cake'


February 23, 2016, 9:37 pm

Nice soundbite but I wouldn't ask an insurance actuary to explain ARM microcontrollers to me and I wouldn't expect an ARM salesman (er sorry - CMO) to explain how insurance works. Hat, talking out of. End of.


February 24, 2016, 6:52 am

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Noel Grundy

February 24, 2016, 10:18 am

Might be getting a bit ahead of themselves here. We'll see how safe they are once they are mail stream in about 50 years.


February 24, 2016, 1:12 pm

Too many assumptions. Self-drive cars as a pseudo taxi service COULD mean that cars become affordable as a means of transport to many people who can't currently afford to buy a car or routinely take taxis.

Law of unintended consequences, and all that.

Michael Chastain

February 24, 2016, 9:45 pm

With safer autonomous vehicles on the road, the risk to insure human drivers goes down, not up. That means potentially MORE profit for insurance companies for human drivers. Why on earth would they attempt to arbitrarily punish more profitable users into an option that will be less profitable for them--and possibly provide them with no revenue at all?

Am I the only person who even remotely understands how business works?


February 24, 2016, 11:52 pm

If some people having driverless cars make the roads safer for us all, insurance cost should drop for us all.
And it is off topic but I just don't see driverless cars by 2020 because they have only been tested in optimal conditions. Put the things in rain, fog, blowing snow and on snow-covered roads. Would the thing even move if it sees that there is an "obstacle" of 8-10 inches of snow piled in every direction? How would it stay in it's own lane or find a driveway in the snow? Would it recognize a flooded road or drive right into it, thinking the surface of the water IS the road? And how do you get a driverless car to know to yield the right of way to police or a funeral procession?

Have tried to get Google to answer these questions but they will not respond.


February 25, 2016, 3:34 am

“So with self-drive cars, the insurance industry will do the same thing they did with airlines, and go ‘we don’t want people flying and smoking at the same time, so we’re going to put rates up’,” he tells us. “If you look at cars, the same things will happen.”

The words look like English, but the whole word salad makes no sense. Whose insurance went up because of smoking on an airplane? Is the FAA going to ban smoking in driverless cars? Did the writer bring enough of whatever he's using to share with everyone else?


February 25, 2016, 3:38 am

Good questions. I once found that about 50 miles of the highway I was driving hadn't been plowed and had about four inches of new snow on it. I had to tell where the road was from the ditch on either side. It was a number of years before I could drive that road again, even in the summer, without getting knots in my stomach.


February 25, 2016, 3:41 am

It doesn't matter how absurdly profitable it becomes to insure human drivers, if total revenue goes down. Shareholders dictate that. So whatever profit is lost charging less to driverless cars will have to be made up by charging drivers more. That is how business works. But I wouldn't see a huge differential. Maybe a few per cent less for robotics and a few per cent more for meatware.


February 25, 2016, 3:45 am

Case in point, "Thou shalt not kill." Because 500 years ago, "slay" was the generic term for taking life and "kill" had the connotation of murder. Slaying in warfare, self-defense and capital punishment was not "killing."

Michael Chastain

February 25, 2016, 3:56 am

It's a competitive market. You can't arbitrarily charge more, because competitors who don't raise their prices will steal your market share. So now instead of having a profitable customer you have none. That's a good way to go out of business fast.

"That is how business works."

No, it's not.


February 26, 2016, 3:26 am

It's not arbitrary if you are charging those with higher risk of an accident higher rates. Competitors who have to lower rates for lower-risk driverless cars and don't correspondingly raise rates for higher-risk user-driven cars will ultimately be less profitable. That's a good way to go out of business, as well.

Michael Chastain

February 26, 2016, 3:31 am

Now explain why people wouldn't switch to a lower cost provider? Businesses like making as much money as possible. If they could get away with charging more, they would be doing so now.

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