[ExI] The Future of Car Insurance

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Sep 11 15:15:51 UTC 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of BillK
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2014 12:54 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] The Future of Car Insurance

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 5:56 AM, spike wrote:
> My guess is that car
> accidents make very little impact on hospital bottom line profits.  
> They probably did at one time, but with improvements in tires, 
> anti-lock brakes, increased use of seatbelts and universal front seat 
> airbags, I can imagine the ER sees way more patients with diabetic 
> complications now than proles who have damaged themselves upon the
steering wheels of their Detroits.

In the US there are about 50 times as many injuries as deaths in traffic
accidents. In third world countries the traffic accident rate is horrendous.
The benefit of robot cars would correspondingly be greatest where the
accident rates are highest.

Ja.  I was looking for a comparison of traffic deaths to other causes.  I
still don't have diabetes, but I found this interesting story.  USA Today
claims traffic deaths are converging with firearm fatalities:


WASHINGTON - Deaths from traffic accidents have dropped dramatically over
the last 10 years, while firearm-related fatalities rose for decades before
leveling off in the past decade, a USA TODAY analysis of data from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.  Meanwhile, the rate of
firearms deaths has exceeded traffic fatalities in several states, including
Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Michigan, Nevada and Oregon,
records show. The rate is equal in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  In the United
States in 2010, the rate of firearm deaths was 10 people per 100,000, while
for traffic accidents it was 12 per 100,000. Firearm-related deaths totaled
31,672 in 2010.  In recent comments against gun control, bloggers,
columnists and commentators have said, "More people are killed by cars than
guns, but I don't see anyone calling for a ban on automobiles."

I don't expect much from USA Today, but it would be helpful if they would
differentiate between the type of firearm fatality.  For instance suicides
are mixed in with the rest, but those don't count in my view.  They don't
separate criminals who are slain in the act of a felony by a citizen, which
doesn't count, nor does it differentiate criminals slain by other criminals
in a gang war for instance, and I am not sure how to count that.

>...As another thought, when robot cars become universal all road traffic
control systems will be abandoned. No traffic lights, Stop signs, traffic
lanes, etc. The cars would know to avoid each other and probably travel
faster than humans could cope with. To a human it would look like high speed
chaos until magically you arrived at your destination. Eeeeek!  BillK

BillK, in our lifetimes there will likely be a long span of time when the
roads contain both robot cars and human guided.  That could go on for 3 to 5
decades, as not all people will sign on.  I can imagine plenty of perfectly
good non-robot cars on the market becoming so cheap that poor people will
drive them, without insurance.  Your scenario of robot driven accelerated
traffic cannot occur until the human drivers are out of the picture.  The
problem might get even worse when the few human drivers remaining are poor
and judgment proof.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list