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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Insurance industry welcomes new bill for automated vehicles

The UK government outlined the details of its new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill yesterday in the House of Commons to ensure effective insurance for self-driving vehicles.

UK wants to be global leader in autonomous vehicles ©iStock

It is hoped that the introduction of these vehicles will dramatically improve road safety after it was found that 85.9% of collisions causing injury last year involved human error.

All owners will be required to be insured so and that victims of accidents will have quick and easy access to compensation, in line with existing insurance practices, it was announced.

This was welcomed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which said the government’s approach would give the industry the time needed to prepare for the commercial rollout of the technology.

“Insurers are helping the UK become a global leader in autonomous vehicles, and it’s great to see the government’s on-going commitment to taking forward the legislation needed,” ABI senior adviser, Ben Howarth, said.

“The planned approach to insuring autonomous vehicles should keep the process as straightforward as possible for consumers, and is based on proposals made by the industry.”

It is estimated that the driverless technology market will be worth up to £50bn to the UK economy by 2035, the Department for Transport said yesterday.

The bill will also give the government powers to make it compulsory for motorway services and large petrol retailers to install chargepoints for electric vehicles across the country.

It is hoped that drivers will be able to easily locate charging points using information from sat-navs or mobile apps, regardless of the vehicle make or model.

In addition all chargepoints will have to be ‘smart’, meaning they can interact with the grid in order to manage demand for electricity across the country.

Road minister, Jesse Norman, said: “Automated and electric vehicles will help improve air quality, cut congestion, boost safety and create thousands of skilled jobs in the UK.

“There are already more than 11,500 publicly available chargepoints, but the demand continues to grow as more people purchase electric vehicles to cut fuel costs and boost the environment.”

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