In case you were wondering how the concept of insurance would work in one of Waymo's self-driving cars, wonder no more.
Waymo announced today that it is partnering with Trov, an on-demand insurance startup, to insure riders in its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Trov, which is only about five years old, will provide coverage for riders inside Waymo's autonomous cars. The coverage includes protections for lost property, trip interruptions and medical expense reimbursement.
Since Waymo is paying the premiums, riders are automatically covered whenever they hop into a self-driving Pacifica. The process is basically invisible to the riders, which is mucho convenient and easier than trying to secure coverage before heading off on a trip.
The announcement precedes Waymo's rollout of a commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, which is slated for 2018. Unlike other current services involving self-driving vehicles, Waymo's fleet willwithin the service's predetermined area. The geofence will eventually grow to encompass the entire Phoenix area.
Instead of a driver, riders will be met with a user interface that shows a whole bunch of information, including an estimated arrival time and even a real-time map that helps riders understand what the cars are seeing and how they're reacting. In the event something happens where the system can't figure out how to react, the vehicle is capable of pulling itself over.