Nearly three in four UK motorists want their insurers to bear the cost of hacked autonomous vehicles, according to a new research by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.
The latest study, which polled 1,200 people, found that 74% of drivers think insurers should provide cover for damage caused by hackers accessing control systems in driverless cars.
According to the survey, 46% of the respondents said it was a “good” or “very good” idea for future insurers to include cover for self-driving vehicles.
However, the research discovered that most drivers are not willing to spend extra cash for insurance against hackers, with 68% disagreeing that such coverage should add to the cost of insurance for all motorists.
“In our view it is logical that hacking electronic systems in autonomous vehicles is treated the same way as a traditionally stolen vehicle, with the insurer bearing the cost,” said Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research.
“In our view it is logical that hacking electronic systems in autonomous vehicles is treated the same way as a traditionally stolen vehicle, with the insurer bearing the cost. This will be an important way of developing consumer confidence around one element of the plethora of questions driverless cars pose.”
Greig said road users are excited about the development of driverless cars but “they still have concerns about responsibility, especially when it comes down to liability.”
Last week, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Thatcham Research published a joint paper which stated that insurance firms are offering to handle the complications of insuring the first automated cars.
This means that consumers should hardly notice any difference to the current system of motor insurance, according to the ABI.
“Insurers are showing their commitment to the new technology, and to ensuring that anyone injured in a road accident continues to get quick and easy access to help and support, as they do at the moment,” said James Dalton, ABI director of general insurance policy.
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