Financial Services

Self driving vans may interest insurance customers

Vans come in useful in a whole range of situations. For example, sometimes individuals require temporary van insurance to help them move heavy or cumbersome items between different premises.

Meanwhile, the technology involved in these vehicles is improving all the time and one recent development that may have grabbed the attention of short term van insurance customers concerned a test that took place in Spain.

Manufacturer Volvo completed an experiment in which a convoy of self-driven vehicles, including trucks, travelled 200 km on a motorway. The vehicles were wirelessly linked to each other and they all ‘mimicked’ a lead truck controlled by a professional driver.

The vehicles were fitted with special features, including cameras, radars and lasers, and they could follow the lead car in terms of its direction and speed. During the tests, speeds of 85 km/hr were reached and the gap between each vehicle was just six metres.

Meanwhile, it may not be as long as many temporary van insurance customers think before technology of this kind is more widely in use.

Linda Wahlstroem, project manager for the Sartre project at Volvo Car Corporation, remarked: “People think that autonomous driving is science fiction, but the fact is that the technology is already here. From the purely conceptual viewpoint, it works fine and road train will be around in one form or another in the future.”

She added: “We’ve focused really hard on changing as little as possible in existing systems. Everything should function without any infrastructure changes to the roads or expensive additional components in the cars.”

It is hoped that eventually drivers, including those who make use of short term van insurance, will be able to enjoy much more relaxed journeys. Indeed, they may be able to work on their laptops, read or enjoy their lunch while getting from A to B.

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