Published: January 21, 2016 | London
UK motor insurers are committing themselves to helping smooth the path of driverless cars onto UK roads, with the launch of a new Automated Driving Insurer Group to address some of the issues which need to be overcome.
The group will be chaired by David Williams, Head of Underwriting at AXA, and consists of representatives from eleven UK motor insurers: Admiral, Ageas, Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Co-operative Insurance, Covea, Direct Line Group, LV, Zurich and the Lloyd’s Market. The Automated Driving Insurer Group will feed into ABI policy and work with the Government on shaping the future of automated vehicle use in the UK.
A survey of almost 3,500 British adults found that a quarter (25%) think their insurance premiums could “go up significantly” following the introduction of driverless cars – even if they do not own one.
The research, commissioned by price comparison firm uSwitch.com, also found that around half (49%) of people would not be happy to be a passenger in that type of vehicle.
The first official trials of driverless cars were launched in February last year but it could be some years before they feature on the roads.
Some key issues already identified include:
- Who could be held liable after an accident – drivers, manufacturers, system developers, car dealers, car maintenance firms or a combination?
- How to cope with vehicles at different levels of automation
- How data from individual vehicles will be recorded and used to improve safety and clarify liability
- Whether there need to be changes to existing road traffic laws and what those changes might be
With 94% of road accidents caused by human error, the development of increasingly automated vehicles has huge implications for road safety. Truly driverless cars are also likely to revolutionise life for people with mobility issues.