Owning a car can very much open up a person's general travel options. However, it can also be very expensive. There are a wide range of different expenses that go along with owning a car, and these expenses can add up to substantial amounts of money.
A major on-the-horizon development in automobile technology could have the potential to lower these expenses for drivers. Is it believed that self-driving cars, once they eventually become commercially available, could help cut down the costs of owning a car.
Examples of some of the ways such cars could potentially save vehicle owners money are:
- Through reducing the number of cars families need, as self-driving cars could allow families to use the cars they do have in more efficient ways.
- Through reducing regular vehicle operating costs, such as repair and maintenance costs, for families by allowing families to have fewer cars.
- Through reducing fuel costs through picking the most efficient driving routes.
- Through lowering insurance costs. It has been estimated that self-driving cars could potentially save the average driver around $1,000 annually in insurance costs.
Another big financial cost related to cars are expenses connected to recovering from auto accident injuries. In addition to having the potential to change a person's life in all kinds of ways, car accident injuries can also lead to big medical bills and have other major financial ramifications.
This is another type of cost that self-driving cars could potentially help reduce, as it is believed that such vehicles could substantially cut down the number of car accidents.
One hopes the future (perhaps through self-driving car technologies and other auto safety technologies) will see far fewer car accidents and far fewer people having to face the major financial impacts of auto accident injuries. However, currently, auto accidents and their devastating impacts remain things that are worrisomely common. Thus, it is important to remember that the civil legal system may be able to provide some very important avenues and opportunities for compensation for the financial effects and other impacts of car accident injuries.
Do you think self-driving cars would have big financial benefits for drivers? What do you see as the biggest potential upsides to self-driving cars? What are the biggest concerns you have regarding self-driving cars?
Source: Business Insider, "Self-driving cars could save drivers $1000 a year," Richard Read, August 14, 2015