Insurer RSA wins driverless car contract in London

Insurance firm RSA will use telematics technology in government funded driverless car pilot beginning in January.

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Insurance firm RSA will use telematics technology in government funded driverless car pilot beginning in January.

The insurance firm announced it will work with the London borough of Greenwich to test the suitability of driverless cars on UK roads.

It is part of a wider initiative to establish the UK as the global hub for autonomous car research and development. The chancellor announced a £9 million funding boost for in the Autumn Statement this week, bringing the funding pool to £19 million.

Three other boroughs in the scheme Milton Keynes, Coventry and Bristol, will also pilot driverless cars, 

RSA and Greenwich’s £8 million GATEway project will investigate driver behaviour in autonomous cars, focusing on risk, liability and insurance issues.

It will also monitor how pedestrians interact with vehicles.

Kenny Leitch, global telematics director at RSA said: “Driverless cars are a fantastic innovation which will fundamentally change the world of motoring and car insurance.

“There are many unanswered questions around how these cars will be insured and through our involvement in the project we will be one of the first insurers to gain first-hand knowledge of the technology.”

Another insurance firm, AXA, is partnering with Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata during the pilots in Milton Keynes and Coventry.

Security within high-tech cars has fast become an insurance issue, recent examples including some underwriter’s refusal to insure Range Rovers with automated unlocking following a spike in thefts.

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Image: Jaguar Land Rover

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