According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there could be 3.5 million self-driving vehicles on the road by 2025. This outlook isn’t surprising considering large automakers like Volvo, Audi, Tesla and even Cadillac announced plans in 2017 to begin testing this type of technology. As advancements in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology continue to gain momentum, the commercial impact is inevitable.
In 2016, Uber announced its self-driving commercial truck made its first delivery and most recently, Domino’s and Ford publicized a partnership to test autonomous pizza delivery cars. There’s no denying that the auto industry is changing. However, a complete market conversion is unlikely to happen overnight – but rather through incremental advancements. As the use of AV technology in the commercial sector evolves, manufacturing and distribution companies will need to prepare and adapt.
Amid the uncertainty, companies can take several steps to proactively evaluate their business strategy and begin preparing their operations:
As autonomous technology enters the marketplace, lawsuits and court rulings throughout the country will undoubtedly shape legal responsibility. Businesses must understand emerging government regulations and insurance standards. Organization executives should consult their insurance broker to make sure that they are compliant with all evolving regulations and to evaluate both the potential opportunities and threats facing their operation. By working to develop a proactive risk management strategy, companies can identify exposures and reduce risk, to better protect their employees, property, equipment and balance sheet.