‘Next big step’: Autonomous vehicles will ‘revolutionise’ car insurance liability industry

Elon Musk says Tesla autopilot will ‘never be perfect’ in 2018

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Self-driving cars are a relatively recent phenomenon within motoring, with Tesla leading the charge with their ‘Autopilot’ system. In the UK, the Department for Transport said automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) would be the first type of hands-free driving legalised.

The technology controls the position and speed of a car in a single lane, and it will be limited to 37mph, and is set to be launched at some point in 2021.

Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ uses lane technology similar to ALKS and is considered to be “level two” on the five defined levels of self-driving cars.

Level three would not need the driver’s attention at all times, and in theory the driver could perform other tasks until the car prompts them to take over again.

Despite this technology, there have been issues and accidents with ‘self-driving’ and autonomous cars in the UK and around the world.

In 2018, a Nottingham resident was banned from driving after climbing into the passenger seat of their Tesla on the motorway, letting it do the driving.

Other companies involved in advancing the technology, including Google, Uber and Apple, have all seen their vehicles involved in accidents, ranging from minor crashes to fatal incidents.

Flock is an InsurTech startup company which is aiming to actively help its customers avoid accidents from autonomous vehicles in the first place.

Ed Klinger, Flock’s CEO, said other insurers weren’t ready for the challenges autonomous vehicles pose.

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Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “Transportation is changing faster than ever, but the traditional insurance industry can’t keep up.

“The proliferation of electric cars, new business models such as ridesharing, and the emergence of autonomous vehicles pose huge challenges that traditional insurers just aren’t equipped for.

“To some extent autonomous cars are the next big step – features coming out of autonomous vehicle testing are already embedded in the technology of today’s new vehicles in the way of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and other safety features.

“I think this trend will continue, where autonomous testing helps to inform the constant improvement of the safety of modern vehicles.”

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