Self-driving cars have often been touted by industry experts as a safer alternative to human drivers. Whereas humans frequently engage in poor and reckless behavior on the road—nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes globally each year, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel—robocars would neither get tired nor drunk, and will generally drive with greater precision.
Now, Britain’s largest auto insurance company Direct Line is testing out the hypothesis by enticing Tesla owners to turn on their Autopilot with a 5% discount, Reuters reports. The company intends to evaluate whether Autopilot will indeed lower accident rates and thereby justify lower premiums. Premiums will still vary based on the driver’s history, but according to a user in the Tesla Motor Club forum, drivers receive the discount once they tell Direct Line they have Autopilot through the insurer’s Tesla-specific channel.
In March, Root, an Ohio-based insurance startup, became the first …
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