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Autonomous cars must share crash data if something goes wrong: ABI

AAA distracted driving report

Cars of the future will need to collect a basic set of core data to prevent drivers being unfairly blamed if technology goes wrong, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has mandated.

British insurers are leading efforts to have a standard set of data agreed at an international level which would be easily available in the event of an accident involving a highly automated vehicle. This would include an indication of whether the vehicle was operating autonomously or not, and what technology was in use.

This information would be used to:

  • establish liability for anything that had gone wrong
  • inform emergency services’ investigations
  • ensure insurance claims could be processed promptly
  • help vehicle manufacturers improve their products

On occasions where faulty technology was shown to have caused an accident insurers should be able to recover the costs from the manufacturer the ABI says, helping keep insurance premiums down.

The information insurers want to see universally collected only concerns the autonomous systems and driver interaction – it is not proposed that any information measuring driver performance should be gathered.

The data would cover a period from 30 seconds before to 15 seconds after an incident and is:

  • a GPS record of the time and location of the incident
  • confirmation of whether the vehicle was in autonomous or manual mode
  • if in autonomous mode, whether the vehicle was parking or driving
  • when the vehicle went into autonomous mode, and when the driver last interacted with the system
  • any driver activity such as braking or steering
  • whether the driver’s seat was occupied, and whether the seatbelt was fastened

The UN body responsible for vehicle regulations is preparing to impose its own data requirements on motor manufacturers from 2019, which insurers in the UK are hoping to influence for the benefit of motorists.

About Piyush Rajan

Asst. Editor |Telematics Wire | Smart automotive

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