Photo of Car

If you crash with a driverless car - who pays?

A crucial question that needs to be asked when someone has a crash with a driverless car is who was in control - the car or the driver?

That's the question being raised by Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) who say the issue of determining where the liability for an accident rests will be an important part when settling a claim.

The organisation say it's important that claims are settled fairly but to do so, the insurer will need to understand who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Thatcham Research’s chief executive, Peter Shaw, said: “Future legislation will need to protect consumers so that in an accident, the responsibility and who pays can be determined quickly.

“Was it a failure of the automated driving system or driving error?”

Important data from the driverless car

A crucial question that needs to be asked when someone has a crash with a driverless car is who was in control - the car or the driver?

That's the question being raised by Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) who say the issue of determining where the liability for an accident rests will be an important part when settling a claim.

The organisation say it's important that claims are settled fairly but to do so, the insurer will need to understand who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Thatcham Research’s chief executive, Peter Shaw, said: “Future legislation will need to protect consumers so that in an accident, the responsibility and who pays can be determined quickly.

“Was it a failure of the automated driving system or driving error?”

Important data from the driverless car

infographic-driverless-car-car-trust-1
Who pays when a driverless car has an accident?

He pointed out insurers will need access to important data from the driverless car about how the crash occurred and he is calling for lawmakers and car manufacturers to work together along with the insurance industry so a framework can be developed to enable the prompt settling of accident claims.

Indeed, British insurers are leading the effort in having a standard dataset agreed at an international level and for it to be easily accessible when an accident occurs with a driverless vehicle.

Part of this data will reveal whether the vehicle was being operated autonomously and what technology at the time of the crash was being used.

Mr Shaw added: “It's in all of our interests to establish the facts quickly and the proposals for standardising data will achieve this.”

Help emergency services investigating an accident

Essentially, British insurers are looking to establish liability in the event that something has gone wrong and the data will also help emergency services investigating an accident.

The insurance firms say that claims will also be processed promptly and the data will help boost manufacturers’ efforts to improve their driverless cars.

[caption id="attachment_4724" align="alignleft" width="300"]Volvo XC90 Drive Me The Volvo XC90 'Drive Me' project.[/caption]

The ABI points out that should an accident be caused by faulty technology then the insurers should be able to recover any costs from the vehicle manufacturer and this will help keep everyone's insurance premiums down.

Insurers also point out that the data collected would not be for monitoring driver performance and would only focus on the vehicle’s driving system as well as driver interaction.

To underline this point, the insurers say there should be a GPS record of the location and time of any incident and immediate confirmation of whether the vehicle involved was in manual or autonomous mode.

If it's the latter, then insurers will need to know whether the vehicle was being driving or parking and when the driver interacted with the autonomous system.

Other questions include whether the seat belts were fastened and whether the driver’s seat in an autonomous vehicle was occupied at the time of the accident.

He pointed out insurers will need access to important data from the driverless car about how the crash occurred and he is calling for lawmakers and car manufacturers to work together along with the insurance industry so a framework can be developed to enable the prompt settling of accident claims.

Indeed, British insurers are leading the effort in having a standard dataset agreed at an international level and for it to be easily accessible when an accident occurs with a driverless vehicle.

Part of this data will reveal whether the vehicle was being operated autonomously and what technology at the time of the crash was being used.

Mr Shaw added: “It's in all of our interests to establish the facts quickly and the proposals for standardising data will achieve this.”

Help emergency services investigating an accident

Essentially, British insurers are looking to establish liability in the event that something has gone wrong and the data will also help emergency services investigating an accident.

The insurance firms say that claims will also be processed promptly and the data will help boost manufacturers’ efforts to improve their driverless cars.

A crucial question that needs to be asked when someone has a crash with a driverless car is who was in control - the car or the driver?

That's the question being raised by Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) who say the issue of determining where the liability for an accident rests will be an important part when settling a claim.

The organisation say it's important that claims are settled fairly but to do so, the insurer will need to understand who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the accident.

Thatcham Research’s chief executive, Peter Shaw, said: “Future legislation will need to protect consumers so that in an accident, the responsibility and who pays can be determined quickly.

“Was it a failure of the automated driving system or driving error?”

Important data from the driverless car

[caption id="attachment_4735" align="alignleft" width="300"]infographic-driverless-car-car-trust-1 Who pays when a driverless car has an accident?[/caption]

He pointed out insurers will need access to important data from the driverless car about how the crash occurred and he is calling for lawmakers and car manufacturers to work together along with the insurance industry so a framework can be developed to enable the prompt settling of accident claims.

Indeed, British insurers are leading the effort in having a standard dataset agreed at an international level and for it to be easily accessible when an accident occurs with a driverless vehicle.

Part of this data will reveal whether the vehicle was being operated autonomously and what technology at the time of the crash was being used.

Mr Shaw added: “It's in all of our interests to establish the facts quickly and the proposals for standardising data will achieve this.”

Help emergency services investigating an accident

Essentially, British insurers are looking to establish liability in the event that something has gone wrong and the data will also help emergency services investigating an accident.

The insurance firms say that claims will also be processed promptly and the data will help boost manufacturers’ efforts to improve their driverless cars.

Volvo XC90 Drive Me
The Volvo XC90 'Drive Me' project.

The ABI points out that should an accident be caused by faulty technology then the insurers should be able to recover any costs from the vehicle manufacturer and this will help keep everyone's insurance premiums down.

Insurers also point out that the data collected would not be for monitoring driver performance and would only focus on the vehicle’s driving system as well as driver interaction.

To underline this point, the insurers say there should be a GPS record of the location and time of any incident and immediate confirmation of whether the vehicle involved was in manual or autonomous mode.

If it's the latter, then insurers will need to know whether the vehicle was being driving or parking and when the driver interacted with the autonomous system.

Other questions include whether the seat belts were fastened and whether the driver’s seat in an autonomous vehicle was occupied at the time of the accident.

The ABI points out that should an accident be caused by faulty technology then the insurers should be able to recover any costs from the vehicle manufacturer and this will help keep everyone's insurance premiums down.

Insurers also point out that the data collected would not be for monitoring driver performance and would only focus on the vehicle’s driving system as well as driver interaction.

To underline this point, the insurers say there should be a GPS record of the location and time of any incident and immediate confirmation of whether the vehicle involved was in manual or autonomous mode.

If it's the latter, then insurers will need to know whether the vehicle was being driving or parking and when the driver interacted with the autonomous system.

Other questions include whether the seat belts were fastened and whether the driver’s seat in an autonomous vehicle was occupied at the time of the accident.