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Auto insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who agree to install a small computer device that monitors their driving patterns. Vehicles equipped with systems that help drivers back up and brake more safely may also get you lower rates on your car insurance policy.

As technology continues to advance in the automotive industry, cars are becoming more dependent than ever on computers. Computers can take control of your vehicle and do a perfect job of parallel parking in a tight spot on a crowded city street. With adaptive cruise control, a computer will sense when you are getting too close to the vehicle in front of you and slow your vehicle down.

We are already seeing cars on the road that can drive themselves. Google has been out front with a driver-less Toyota Prius and almost all of the car manufacturers are working on semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles (AV) that can pretty much do everything a human driver can do, and do it better.

Airplanes can be put on automatic pilot and fly themselves from New York to San Francisco without a human being having to do anything. In cities all across the country, monorails and elevate people movers operate safely without the benefit of an on board conductor or driver.

Auto insurance companies determine their rates based on risk and having a driver-less car will greatly reduce the risk of drivers getting into accidents. Unlike humans, computers never get tired, they do not get distracted and they can be programmed to always do a specific task in the most safe and efficient way.

Car insurance companies will have to adjust their rates if and when driver-less cars become more prevalent. According to analyst Donald Light at consulting firm Celent, liability and collision rates on auto insurance will start to come down over the next ten years as the new driver-less technology is rolled out.

While nothing is a certainty yet in the car insurance world's reaction to this new and ever-improving technology, if the trend continues and driver-less cars become commonplace, car insurance will look a lot different than it does today.

1. Collision rates will come down based on the fact that there will be far fewer accidents and far less chance of auto insurance companies having to pay costly repair bills.

2. Liability insurance premiums for car owners will also drop dramatically as fewer accidents will also mean that insurers will not have to foot the bill for property or bodily injury caused to others.

3. State insurance laws may be changed to reflect the reduced liability risk and drivers may no longer be required to carry a minimum amount of mandatory liability insurance as part of their auto insurance policy.

4. Car insurance companies may find that their customers are more likely to be the car manufacturers who installed the computer systems that control the autonomous vehicle and even the software companies that created the programs that are the brains of the vehicle.

5. Auto insurance will still be necessary for such things as theft or vandalism, but if you want to add collision or need to add liability, which will only cost you a fraction of what it costs today.

While driver-less cars have the potential to significantly lower the price we all pay for car insurance, they may also take away something that Americans cherish. No longer will you be able to experience the sensation of driving your Corvette 90 mph on the open highway or even being in control of your family sedan on a trip to Disney World.

This article was written by Steve Whiley.  Steve is a written in the car insurance industry and commonly blogs for American Auto Insurance.

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