In an attempt to reduce accident rates on UK roads, the largest UK-based motor insurance company, Direct Line, is offering Tesla owners a 5% discount if they use Tesla’s Autopilot technology.
Tesla note that Autopilot improves safety and reduces accident rates, especially when it comes to severe accidents, so the incentive of the discount is to increase Tesla Autopilot usage amongst customers and thus gain further data points with which the insurance company can determine whether it makes sense to offer lower premiums to users of such systems.
“At present the driver is firmly in charge so it’s just like insuring other cars, but it does offer Direct Line a great opportunity to learn and prepare for the future,” explained Dan Freedman, Head of Motor Development at Direct Line.
Of course, Tesla Autopilot has several semi-autonomous driving features, including:
◊ Adaptive Cruise Control
◊ Auto Lane Change
◊ Autopark (aka Summon)
A Financial Analyst at GlobalData, Daniel Pearce, commented on the news: “Crash rates across all Tesla models have fallen by 40% since the introduction of the Autopilot system. … However, when owners seek to insure their Tesla vehicles, this is not reflected in the pricing of premiums.” He added: “The insurance industry will gradually respond to these developments.”
While the use of Autopilot will provide a discount, pricing is still varied in relation to driving history, age, claim history, and so on.