UK insurers examine robocar issues

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


UK motor insurers have teamed up to examine automated driving on British roads. 

A group of 11 UK motor insurers, led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Thatcham Research, has been formed to consider key issues relating to automated driving on UK roads, particularly concerning insurance and liability. 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.

The group said that with 94% of road accidents caused by human error, the development of increasingly automated vehicles has huge implications for road safety. 

Some key issues already identified by the group 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

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said: "The presence of driverless cars on UK roads would be life-changing in many ways, and one of the business sectors likely to be most affected is insurance. Contrary to what some people might expect, insurers are not standing in the way of this development but actively looking to support progress and innovation.”

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.


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