Elon Musk has just announced he’s going into the insurance business with Liberty Mutual – a partnership as natural as the getting-together over coffee of the Gambinos and Columbos.
They’re really going into the data-mining and mobility control business; the insurance business is merely the storefront.
The plan, according to Elon, is to offer “compelling” premiums . . . by compelling policyholders to let him (and the sickly-named Liberty) monitor their driving via real-time telemetry – just like the Apollo program.
And surrender it, too – by turning that over to his infamous auto-pilot system.
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Several auto-piloted Teslas have already piloted themselves into fixed barriers and other vehicles as effectively as any reckless human driver.
There have been losses – including of human lives.
At least two lawsuits are currently in process – including one filed by the family of Walter Huang of California, who was killed when his Tesla wandered out its travel lane and then accelerated into a lane divider – without Huang having touched the accelerator pedal or the steering wheel.
Will Elon surcharge himself for this risk?
Shouldn’t the general risk presented by every auto-piloted Tesla be accounted – for since all of them use the same known-to-be-faulty automated driving system that has already resulted in several fatal wrecks?
Doubtful.What’s likely is that everyone driving a Tesla will find themselves paying more to Elon.
This time for the “coverage” rather than for the car. Which is why Elon’s is itching to offer this “compelling” coverage. He needs to figure out a way to generate cash to offset the cash he’s losing on the cars he can’t sell for what it costs him to make them – even with all the subsidies he’s managed to rent-seek from the government.
Which of course gets the money it gives to Elon from us.
But he needs more green – so to speak – and now he has a plan to get it from us directly. The government hasn’t yet issued a fatwa that we have to buy electric cars; we’re just forced to help other people buy them.
But insurance is mandatory.
It’s another form of telemetry – a mainline from our wallets to the coffers of the insurance mafia.