Should insurers be able to control driverless cars?

Should insurers be able to control driverless cars? | Insurance Business

Should insurers be able to control driverless cars?

David Williams
“People might think insurers would jump at this opportunity, but one of the biggest lessons from our involvement in five government-backed driverless consortia is the scale of the ecosystem being created. It’s estimated that one vehicle will generate around four terabytes of data a day; multiply that across an insurer’s motor and fleet book, and you will quickly appreciate how difficult the proposal would be.

Many parties will have a stake in the data created – the passenger/driver, connected infrastructure providers and transport network operators, for example – and it’s clear that our focus needs to be on working together.”



Thom Rickert
“The answer is no, at least for now. The insurance industry should work to develop best practices and innovative coverage, influence safety regulations, and deploy technology to reduce claims.

But directly controlling autonomous vehicles would change the carrier’s role from transferring or managing risk to assuming the risk for any vehicle hardware or software failure. This would be analogous to an insurance company controlling an airplane’s autopilot system or a utility’s supervisory control and data acquisition [SCADA] platform. I think the industry would agree that this would be problematic.”



Tom Super
“Insurer intrusion is more disruptive than beneficial for partially automated [vehicles]; insurers may be better positioned to share data with consumers to improve decision-making. Fully automated options, some of which are years from becoming mainstream, allow insurers to better price all types of risk and then pass those efficiencies on to the consumer.

Ultimately, consumer preferences will determine insurer involvement. Manufacturers and ridesharing companies will likely remain in control, while insurers’ role will evolve to empower consumers with information and tools that inform their driving choices.”