Britain’s leading car insurers have joined forces in response to concerns within the industry that the introduction of driverless cars could see premiums and profits slashed.
Aviva, Direct Line, Admiral, AXA, LV and Zurich are among the 11 founder members of the Automated Driving Insurance Group (ADIG), which is led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ADIG is also seeking to establish who will be responsible in the event of a collision – the ‘driver’ or the vehicle manufacturer.
Self-driving cars are moving ever closer to becoming a reality in the UK. In October 2015, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) launched an £11 million research programme to help further the development of fully autonomous cars capable of operating safely on the UK’s roads.
A study by Thatcham Research suggests that autonomous cars could bring about a dramatic reduction in the number of collisions caused by human error, which could result in insurance premiums falling by up to 80% over the next 25 years.
James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, told the Telegraph: “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 role of motor insurance in such a future will be very different to what it is today, but insurance will be part of the picture.”
The Government has identified 2018 as the time to amend road traffic legislation to take into consideration autonomous vehicles, while the internet giant Google hopes to see fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.