Waymo has already begun testing its ride-hailing vehicles on the streets of San Francisco and metro Phoenix. The company plans to use its self-driving tech to change the ride-sharing and freight service industry.
Learn more about Waymo, the self-driving market, and how the new technology puts a wrench in the structure of traditional
What is Waymo?
Self-driving tech has been around longer than you think. Google got in the game early, forming Waymo already in 2009. Since then, the tech giant changed its official name to Alphabet and turned Google and Waymo into separate subsidiaries.
Despite gaining many rivals over the years, Waymo remains the industry leader in full autonomy. The
Wall Street Journalreports that the company has "more vehicles on the road and operations than anyone else in the field."
But staying on the top of the food chain won’t be easy. Waymo will have to deal with many challenges as it tries to expand its services in other cities, from securing government approval to persuading people to adapt how they use and share their neighborhood roads.
Waymo’s self-driving competition
Despite the hoops that the industry still needs to jump through, recent activity on the stock exchange shows that self-driving tech is well on its way.
The most visible companies competing with Waymo for space are fellow ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, and EV industry leader Tesla.
While Uber and Lyft hold much of the ride-share market, Waymo’s connection to Alphabet, one of the largest companies in the world, gives it a staying power that’s pretty hard to match. Of its competitors, only Tesla can claim to have comparable resources at its disposal.
How has the car insurance industry reacted to self-driving technology?
While autonomous transportation might lower insurance prices in the future, for now, the conversation surrounding self-driving vehicles and insurance is ongoing. The main question still unanswered is one of liability: if an autonomous vehicle causes an accident, who is liable? Should the passenger be held responsible or the manufacturer?
Legislators are still unsure how to answer this question, but most insurance providers seem to be responding to the new technology by basing their coverage on the cost of replacement parts. That has meant high premiums for vehicles like Teslas with semi-autonomous capabilities.
Insurance prices for semi- or fully self-driving vehicles might change as the tech becomes more common and the insurance industry collects more data related to it. But for now, it seems that the more autonomous your car is, the more you’ll probably pay for car insurance.
Some companies have tried splitting off from this pricing model, including Tesla itself, by offering
pay-as-you-drive coveragerather than determining rates solely on the vehicle and driver’s profile. But the new concept doesn’t necessarily save owners money.
How to save on insurance for high-tech cars
Whether you’ve joined the EV revolution or you plan to buy the first self-driving car on the market, you’ll want to find any way you can to bring your car insurance rates down. Premiums for flashy, new, high-tech vehicles tend to be pricey, but there are also thousands of discounts available. You just have to look.
An intelligent AI-based tool like
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