Auto­ma­ted dri­ving

Fewer acci­dents, pri­cier repairs

Assistance systems and automated driving are designed to reduce accidents and make road traffic more secure. However, the real effect of these innovations has hitherto remained unclear. Experts from the German Insurance Association (GDV) therefore decided to take a closer look at the actual impact of the new technology.

According to their forecast presented in Berlin today, claims payments by motor vehicle insurers will fall by 7 to 15 percent between 2015 and 2035 due to these innovations. In the base year 2015, insurers made payments in the region of EUR 22 billion. “The new systems will make driving more secure but they will be slow to actually feature in the current vehicle stock and they will make repairs more costly. For the foreseeable future, technological progress will therefore only have a minor impact on claims”, says Bernhard Gause, Member of the GDV Management Board.

Emergency braking and parking assistance have the greatest impact
For cars, which accounted for about 90 percent of claims payments in 2015, the authors analysed six systems in total (lane-keeping system, lane change assistant, emergency braking assistant, parking and manoeuvring assistant, motorway pilot, city/road pilot). According to their findings, motor vehicle-related third party liability claims will be most influenced by emergency braking systems as well as parking and manoeuvring assistance, which could lead to savings of 5-10 percent by 2035. The best way to avoid damage to your own car is through parking and manoeuvring assistance, which doesn’t just provide warning but even steers and stops the car – such a system could lead to savings of about 4 to just under 8 percent in own damage losses by 2035.

The main findings of the study

  • Assistance systems make no difference to many losses.
    A motorway pilot is of as much use against car thieves as parking assistance against falling rock, hail or marten bites. Not even the best emergency braking assistant can change the laws of physics applicable to a car’s braking distance.

  • The new technology will prevent fewer claims in practice than in theory.
    Assistance systems may prove of limited benefit on roads under construction or in stormy weather. Moreover, drivers don’t use them all the time. As a result, less losses are prevented in real road traffic than would be the case given ideal conditions.

  • The systems are slow to catch on
    New assistance systems and automated driving functions only come with a limited number of new cars. It will take many years after the market launch before the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road will be equipped with the new technology.

  • Extra technology makes repairs pricier.
    Adding sensors and new technology adds to repair costs in the event of a loss. An assistance system adds about 30 percent to the cost of changing a windscreen.

A detailed summary of the GDV study with the results of individual driver assistance systems and automated driving functions is included in the following download.


>>Columne: Automobile security is not divisible

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