XL Catlin is taking part in the DRIVEN consortium, an £8.6 million project that that will deploy a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles in urban areas and on motorways in the UK.
The 30-month project starts this April and will see driverless cars have an end-to-end journey from London to Oxford. The vehicles will be operating at Level 4 autonomy – which means that they can perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip, with zero-passenger occupancy.
No connected and autonomous vehicle trial at this level of complexity and integration has ever been held anywhere in the world, according to XL Catlin.
“Working on this project gives us the opportunity to work with leading external parties to create a risk profiling tool and insurance pricing mechanism which is truly revolutionary,” said Richard Jinks, project leader at XL Catlin.
The consortium is seen to shake-up both the transportation and insurance industries by seeking to remove fundamental barriers to real-world commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles. It will address key issues including communication and data-sharing between connected cars, cybersecurity challenges, insurance modelling and risk profiling for autonomous vehicles.
“The project will radically transform how insurance and autonomous vehicles will work together in connected cities,” XL Catlin said. “A key challenge will be how to insure autonomous fleets of vehicles with the consortium planning to develop a system that automatically takes into account data from the vehicle and external sources that surround it, for example, traffic control systems.”
Oxford-based artificial intelligence firm Oxbotica is leading the DRIVEN consortium, which is also joined by Oxford Robotics Institute, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Oxfordshire County Council and Transport for London.
“Today’s news is truly ground-breaking. No company, group or consortium of autonomy experts has ever attempted what DRIVEN is planning over the next 30-months,” said Oxbotica chief executive Graeme Smith.