The use of autonomous technology in cars could help the insurance industry save lives and money, according to an industry expert.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) alone could see a 25% reduction in injuries and potentially a 10%-15% drop in overall insurance costs, IAG head of research, Robert McDonald says.
“In Australia alone, the industry spends about $400 million on low speed breaking and reversing claims,” McDonald told Insurance Business.
“Part of that AEB, in conjunction with automatic parking, has the potential to reduce or eliminate that cost.”
McDonald notes that as the technology becomes more widespread in vehicles of all price brackets, the technology itself becomes smarter, cheaper and more effective. This will help the insurance industry lower costs.
With further steps towards full automation, McDonald says that the insurance industry will still have “a key role in the all-important motor market.”
As domestic and commercial vehicles move towards automation, repair costs in the event of a crash will become more expensive, as will repairs following adverse weather or technical faults.
This would mean that insurance will still be needed.
McDonald says that the trucking industry could be one of the first to see large scale automation on highways.
City environments are proving to be more difficult for autonomous driving but technology already exists that could help the trucking industry lower costs through long-distance automation.
For brokers, autonomous upgrades in trucking could impact their businesses with lower insurance costs. However, McDonald notes that the full impact of autonomous technology on the industry could take several years to fully develop.
Telstra calls on Australian Govt to adopt autonomous, connected car policies
The IAG research comes a day after Telstra called on the Australian government to implement policies that promote the uptake of autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies.
Telstra warns that compared to Europe and North America, Australia is lagging when it comes to initiatives involving connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).
Australia “has the opportunity to take a leading role both regionally and globally in CAV enabling technology,” Telstra notes in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the social impact of land-based driverless vehicles.
“Policies and incentives are urgently required to facilitate trials, gain community acceptance and to adapt the legal and regulatory framework to support and accelerate the introduction of AVs into Australia.”
Telstra says it backs
principles outlined in the Transport and Infrastructure Council’s (TIC) National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology, which was released in August last year.
That document outlined four key roles for Australia’s state and federal governments:
- Providing policy leadership, including a nationally coordinated approach across different levels of government; facilitating collaboration between industry and researchers; raising public awareness and acceptance; and managing the transitions between old and new technologies.
- “Enabling”, including by supporting investment in digital infrastructure and/or data streams and offering open access to transport data.
- Creating a supportive regulatory environment, including ensuring that community expectations around safety and privacy are met, removing regulatory barriers and where possible providing certainty about future regulatory requirements.
- Investment in R&D and real-world trials.