money·2 min read

What Self-Driving Cars Could Mean for Your Wallet

Feb 6, 2020

Get in, loser. We’re going...for a ride in an autonomous vehicle. When experts imagine the future, it’s one with self-driving cars. And we don't just mean ‘smaht pahk.’ Here’s what a world with self-driving cars could mean for your money.   

Your commute could get cheaper. Self-driving shuttles and robo-taxis make owning a car pretty unnecessary. University of Michigan researchers predict that autonomous vehicles will cut car ownership by almost half. That means cutting more than $9,600 from the avg car owner's annual budget. More of a rider than a driver? Since apps like Uber and Lyft won’t have to pay drivers, ride prices could drop once the vehicle price inevitably does.

You could increase your earning potential. Just think of all the time you’d have if you weren’t driving...ever. AAA puts that at around 300 hours per year. From the backseat, you could actually get work done on your way to work. That is, if you don’t shop or binge-watch the 46th season of The Bachelor instead. 

You miiight pay less for insurance. For car insurance, that’s because you probably won’t own a car. And if you do, the car will likely be safer to operate than vehicles with humans behind the wheel. For health insurance, it’s because there will be fewer accidents. At least that’s the hope. Since auto accidents send millions of people to emergency rooms every year, health insurance premiums could drop as soon as those visits do. Though this tech hasn’t exactly been synonymous with safety so far.

theSkimm: The switch to self-driving cars won’t happen overnight. But when it does, changes will keep rolling in. If those changes include increased convenience and safety, your money could keep rolling in, too.

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