The Future of Connected Insurance and Autonomous Vehicles at Cenex-LCV

Dr Sam Chapman - September 26th, 2019

At the beginning of September, I attended Cenex-LCV in Millbrook to talk about the future of connected insurance and the impacts that autonomous vehicles could have on this area. As the UK’s premier low carbon vehicle and connected autonomous mobility conference, this event featured an extensive seminar programme as well as the opportunity to experience the latest R&D and commercially available vehicles at their unique test track facilities.

On the second day of the conference, I delivered a talk on the subject of ‘Insurance in a Connected and Autonomous World: What data and approaches help support this and what is still needed’. My talk focused on the future of Connected Insurance and what is needed to make this a reality in the autonomous and assistive car world.

It’s a subject which I’ve been focusing on closely over the last three years or so through my involvement in projects such as MOVE_UK which aimed to understand the timescale and cost of the introduction of autonomous vehicles onto our roads through live trials in real world environments.

One of the outcomes of this project focuses on the wide range of data that would need to be collected, the regulations which would need to be put in place and how insurers will need to adapt to these new technologies and embrace data from vehicles in order to effectively calculate insurance policies.

From the work undertaken through MOVE_UK, the introduction of new vehicle technologies, such as full autonomy, will see changes in the risks associated with driving and mobility, our understanding of it and how it could be used in relation to insurance premiums in the future.

However, it is important for us to recognise that driver and vehicle risk will not be eliminated completely, particularly where vulnerable road users are concerned. Incidents are still likely to occur and liability will be more complex than it ever has been. Importantly as a result of the UK Electric and Autonomous Vehicles Act 2018, the insurers role with regards to autonomous vehicles is specified. In particular, this raises a need to determine the risk between the driver and the vehicle when the vehicle being used can take over aspects of the driving task.

Our work with MOVE_UK has given us unique insight into risk, data potentials and the future of insurance when autonomy will form part of a risk profile. As a result, the project led to two key outcomes impacting future motor insurance:

  1. Large scale vehicle and sensor data gathered from vehicles has been evaluated for its utility to understand risk and support incident handling for autonomous vehicles. This body of data and analysis informs how to improve future liability and risk estimations in light of possible vehicle data, helping to evolve current products and shape new ones.
  2. Insurance has a clear legal need to determine liability between drivers and vehicles with autonomous technology. This need, coupled with directed investigations, have helped to provide evidence into regulations to ensure fair handling for future insurance. In particular advising key requirements for how vehicle data should be available to make future vehicle insurance fair.

It was great to share key regulatory advice and findings from the MOVE_UK project at Cenex-LCV earlier this month. This helps focus the conversation on not only the future of mobility but also the future of insurance and its fair regulation to ensure that policyholders are fairly treated with means to ensure appropriate pricing for all.

To find out more about the findings of the MOVE_UK project, visit the website where you can read the reports from each phase of the project.

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