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UK Insurance Industry Discuss the Issue of Autonomous Car on Public Road

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January 28
3:45 AM 2016

UK insurance industry created an Automated Driving Insurance Group (ADIG) to discuss the issue of autonomous vehicles including legal aspects in their use on public roads. Including the issues regarding accident involving driverless car.

Association of British Insurers (ABI) will lead the group in association with Thatcham Research and 11 of the biggest auto insurance companies in United Kingdom. The group will focus on legal issues regarding the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads. Among the insurance companies, big names such as Allianz, Zurich and AXA also join the group.

In an interview with Computer Business Review, an ABI spokesperson said, "This group will consider key issues related to automated vehicles such as liability and how they will be insured, to provide opinions and reports to help shape future legislation and practices."

Furthermore the spokeperson said, "Its work will be feed into the ABI's own committees but we also expect it to be of use to other interested parties such as the Department for Transport."

ADIG will represent the views of the insurance industry about the autonomous vehicles. In the near future, the British government will allow driverless cars roaming the British roads. The government is preparing the necessary legislation for that purpose.

The Telegraph reported that British government has pledged to amend road laws by 2018 to account for the rise of driverless cars, or cars that are semi-autonomous. This amendment will allow car companies to be held liable for damage or injury in case of accident. That will directly impact the insurance companies, because the companies would have to take out insurance policies

According to ABI, 94% of road accidents are currently caused by human error, therefore, autonomous vehicle will greatly reduce that number. However, ADIG need to provide input regarding the case of accident caused by autonomous car. Whose fault will the accident be - the owner or the car manufacturer.

ABI director of general insurance policy James Dalton told Auto Car, "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." He also said that with the presence of autonomous vehicle on public road, "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."

ADIG will also discussed other important issues related to driverless car and insurance industries. The result of discussion will represent car insurance industry's point of view on autonomous vehicles and its usage on public roads.

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