Uncategorized

Exciting New Website!

Here at Think Insurance we never like to sit still for long and are always trying to improve where we can. One of the improvements we’ve made recently is to launch a brand new website on a brand new domain; one which will hopefully make it easier for our customers to remember and to find us when they need a great price on their insurance, or some of our award winning customer service. Check out our revamped website at www.thinkinsurance.co.uk.

Don’t worry though…for the time being this website will remain active, but we recommend that you bookmark and start using our new site as that contains all of our updated product information pages, and all of our latest news and product launches. You can find all you need to know on Motor Trade Insurance, plus any of our other fantastic insurance products and services. What are you waiting for? Check out our new website today!

Share this...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

The Ethics Behind Self Driving Cars

self driving cars future of technology intelligent

Driving Morality to the Edge, Self Driving Cars

Self driving cars are soon to become a common sight on UK roads. With the responsibility of driving taken out of the hands of the person behind the wheel, the concerns about how the car will react to ethical dilemmas has been a hot topic in recent news.

Automotive engineers are attempting to program new self-driving vehicles to make split second, ethically right decisions.

When following rules or laws do not provide an answer to an ethical dilemma, we rely on our morals to justify how we should act.(1) But how can a machine make the right decision when it comes to a serious ethical dilemma?

 

Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles 

benefits of intelligent smart self driving cars Autonomous vehicles will be fitted with state of the art technology designed to give the passengers a safe, comfortable journey without having to worry about other road users, road works and potential accidents. In the next couple of years, a Super Cruise feature should be available in some vehicles which enables the car to see the road. Using an array of sensors, lasers, radar, cameras and GPS technology, the car will be able to analyse it’s surroundings. (2)

Not only will vehicles be able to take over most of the driving but also be able to communicate.Vehicle to vehicle communication will change how traffic flows and even how highway’s are designed. (2) This new technology will alert the driver to any hazards on the road ahead and communicate this information with other road users, preventing accidents and congestion.

 

Self- Driving Concerns

Self driving vehicles could mean a significant rise in unemployment. People who work as bus, taxi, truck and delivery drivers could face unemployment with the development of autonomous vehicles. Self driving cars will be more cost effective, never need a break or to go on holiday and should not make any mistakes on the road. This would therefore make them superior to any human driver.

customer service in motor trade businesses what it needed faqRelying heavily on self driving vehicles could mean that we become lazy drivers and stop paying attention to the road ahead. Despite self driving cars being able to make fast decision on the road, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver should not be in control of the vehicle from a top level approach. The car will not be able to read your mind in terms of where you want to go or if you decide to re-route. This then will require you to take control again of the vehicle which requires you to have been paying attention initially. (3) With Super Cruise technology, the vehicle will require the driver to take control of the car if it detects a hazard ahead, so the machine will not be able to perform all types of road manoeuvres unassisted.

In the event of a self-driving car accident, where people have been injured or even killed, who would be held responsible. The driver, who might not have been able to change the outcome of the event or the manufacturer/ engineers who have preinstalled a particular set of moral codes which has caused the vehicle to manoeuvre in a particular way. (4)

Will your new self-driving car be programmed to sacrifice you in order to save others? People are debating whether self driving cars will be programmed to substitute your life, as the driver, in order to save people outside of the vehicle. This concerning ethical issue is sure to be raised further as the reality of autonomous vehicles heats up. (5)

smart cars making moral manoeuvres self driving navigating decisions

Making Moral Manoeuvres

Ethical dilemmas occur in all aspects of life. Making the right decision can often depend on a number of factors and the circumstances when the event occurs.

Even for human beings, understanding how to evaluate a situation and apply the right rule and therefore make the ethically right decision is difficult, let alone for a machine.

One clear example of an ethical decision an autonomous vehicle may face on the road, is if the car approaches a cyclist on the left hand side. Should the car move over to the middle of the road and put the passengers at greater risk or to remain close to the cyclist and potentially intimidate them, which could lead to an accident?

Google’s new autonomous vehicles claim to have software installed which will aid the vehicle to make the right decision. Three questions are presented to the machine.

  1. How much information would be gained by making this manoeuvre?
  2. What’s the probability that something bad will happen?
  3. How bad would that something be?.

If the risk outweighed the information gained, the car would proceed to make such a manoeuvre. The question is, what would the car do if the risk and information gained values were equal?(4)

According to recent reports from KPMG (the UK’s leading provider of professional services including audit, tax and advisor) self driving cars will lead to approximately 150 fewer deaths a year. There is no doubt that the introduction of autonomous vehicles on UK roads will reduce the amount of accidents that occur, but there is still concerns about leaving life or death situations in the hands of a machine. (8)

Think Insurance offer competitive motor trade insurance for businesses around the UK. For more information please visit https://www.think-ins.co.uk

Sources:

1.http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/04/the-road-to-self-driving-cars/index.htm

2.http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a9541/the-12-most-important-questions-about-self-driving-cars-16016418/

3.http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/self-driving-cars-endanger-millions-american-jobs-thats-okay/

4.http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/exploring-ethics-behind-self-driving-cars

5.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150615124719.htm

6.http://googlesautonomousvehicle.weebly.com/technology-and-costs.html

7.http://www.autonews.com/article/20150628/BLOG06/150629912/self-driving-cars-already-have-ethics

8.http://www.kpmg.com/uk/en/about/Pages/default.aspx

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Share this...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Motor Traders Should Take Advantage of the Plug In Car Grant

A £5,000 government grant for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) is to be extended to February 2016.

The Plug In Car Grant was introduced in 2011 to reduce the up front cost of ULEVs by providing a 25% grant towards the cost of new plug in cars, up to a maximum of £5,000.

In April 2015, the grant was increased to cover up to 35% of the vehicle’s recommended retail price.


 

Artboard 1 Copy 8

 

Motor traders and dealerships who are currently selling such vehicles should take full advantage of this grant before it runs out, by registering online. To register for the Plug In Car Grant dealerships should request a registration form by emailing olev.enquiries@olev.gsi.gov.uk.

This financial incentive is designed to help encourage people and businesses to purchase more environmentally friendly cars over other models.

In order to qualify for the Government Plug In Car Grant, a vehicle must emit less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven, according to Direct Gov website. For electric vehicles, they must be able to travel at least 70 miles between charges. For plug in hybrids, they must meet a minimum electric range of 10 miles.

Here is a list of all the vehicles which qualify: https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants/eligibility

Motor traders should also consider investing in more electric and plug in hybrid vehicles over congenitally fuelled cars in order to offer a variety of options and benefit from the government financial help.car elec

In addition, the Government is currently investing in a national charge point network to help make power points more widely available. Moreover the government is also funding a Homecharge scheme to help owners of ULEVs install a domestic charge point in their homes. This grant provides up to £700 towards installation costs. (3)

In order to successfully sell such cars, auto traders should make the benefits of eco-friendly cars very clear to potential customers and allow the government grant to make the deal irresistible.

Artboard 1 Copy 9

Major UK car manufacturers are all offering a range of eco-friendly vehicles including battery electric models and plug in hybrids and are proactively investing in further development.

Since the start of the Plug In Car Grant in January 2011, there have been a total of 35,705 ultra low emission vehicles registered in the UK.

According to recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the sales of electric cars has risen dramatically over the past 12 months. The average number of ULEVs registered in the UK per month is now around 2,400. (6)

Contrary to public opinion, electric vehicles are being bought by both private owners as a main vehicle and businesses for fleets.

The rapid growth and expansion of the market is set to continue with financial help from the government both through grants and investment into power points.

Artboard 1 Copy 10

 

 

Electric vehicles are far more environmentally friendly than traditional petrol and diesel cars as they produce minimal harmful emissions, but more importantly for consumers they are rated for their smooth and fun driving experience and their fast acceleration. (2) In fact according to the Goultralow website, 9 out of 10 electric vehicle owners would recommend an electric vehicle to their friends and family.

By investing in a ULEV, you can also save money on petrol and tax. As long as your vehicle emits less than 100g/km in co2 emissions you won’t have to pay any tax.You will also be exempt from fuel duty as electricity is not considered a fuel, like petrol or diesel is. (1)

In early 2015 electric cars accounted for 1% of the total new car market in the UK, however some people are still put off buying one.

One of the main reasons for not investing in a ULEV is due to the time it takes to charge. It has been reported that owners of electric cars prefer to charge their cars at home overnight, rather than at a public-use charging station. (2) The average UK home charging time is approximately six to eight hours, a lot longer than it takes to fill up a tank of petrol. (4)

The cost of buying an electric car is roughly around £8,000 more expensive. Despite being able to save money on tax, petrol and also qualify for the Plug In Car Grant, you now have to pay to charge your car at some public power points.

Master, a major provider offers a rapid charge for £7.50. With most electric cars boasting a range of 100 miles, this would mean that you would get around 50 miles for just under £10.

Marketing Secretary of Electric Vehicle Drivers Association and owner of an electrically powered Nissan Leaf said, ‘A gallon of diesel for most eco-diesels will cost you £6.30 and get you around 60 miles. A 30-minute rapid charge in my Nissan Leaf would give you a range of 64 miles. So we’re paying an extra £1.20 more to get the same mileage. It’s madness… if the rapid chargers go up to £7.50 we’re going to kill the market at a stroke”.(5)

Appearance can be everything for the automotive industry. Some people have claimed that appearance is one of the main reasons as to why they haven’t bought a ULEV. But with new models being designed and developed every couple of months, there is bound to be a car which suits your taste.

For more information about the ultra low campaign and investing in a ULEV electric car or plug in hybrid, please visit www.goultralow.com.

Sources:

1.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315604/factsheet-tax-implications.pdf

2.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/307019/ulev-2015-2020.pdf

3.https://www.goultralow.com

4.http://www.thechargingpoint.com/beginners-guide.html

5.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28054738

Share this...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Tumblr