ESTERO – UK: l’ABI mette in guardia sulle auto senza pilota, potrebbero causare più incidenti

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6 maggio 2016 di ilbroker

Driverless car technology may give consumers a “false sense of security” that leads to an increase in the number of accidents in the short term, a leading insurance trade body has cautioned.

The warning from the Association of British Insurers goes against conventional wisdom in the car industry that self-driving cars will lead to fewer collisions because the cars do not get distracted.

James Dalton, an ABI director, said there “is a danger some accidents could be caused by motorists thinking they can stop paying attention to the road before the technology is sufficiently advanced”.

Driverless car technology is being rolled out in stages. UK legislation is planned that will allow cars to drive themselves on motorways in 2018, while full autonomy could be permitted as early as 2021 in the UK and parts of Europe.

Mr Dalton will tell a London conference on driverless cars on Tuesday that the “potential prize here is a massive reduction in road accidents, leading to fewer people killed and injured on our roads”.

But he will say that “the growth in features like automatic braking and lane assistance systems may give drivers a false sense of security that they can relax while their car looks after them”.

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo chief executive, will tell the same conference that driverless car technology will force insurance companies to rethink their business models because of a dramatic fall in the number of road accidents over the long term.

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The number of road collisions is predicted to fall by 80 per cent by 2035 because self-driving cars do not get distracted, according to research in the US.

Reinsurer Swiss Re and mapping company Here last month estimated that collision avoidance software would wipe $20bn off insurance premiums because of lower crashes.

“Autonomous driving cars are the single most important advance in automotive safety to be seen in recent years,” Mr Samuelsson will say.

“The insurance industry will have no choice but to react to these seismic challenges to its existing business model.”

Volvo has set a target that no one will be killed or seriously injured in one of its vehicles by 2020. Driverless technology will be a “key tool” in achieving this aim, he added.

Mr Dalton from the ABI sought to play down the risks to his industry, saying that carmakers “are facing threats to their own business model from technology giants such as google and Apple and need to move fast to keep up”.

He added that “there will always be a need for insurance”.

Peter Shaw of Thatcham Research, which does crash testing on behalf of the insurance industry, said: “The danger is that as technology develops, and drivers become more confident, they will start to use it in conditions it has not been designed for.

“Our clear message is that until 2021, drivers need to stay on the ball and observe the rules of the road.”

FONTE: Financial Times


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