The suggestion that driverless cars will make motor insurance an obsolete concept has been dismissed as “a lot of pie in the sky” by roads minister Andrew Jones.
Jones was speaking in Milton Keynes where a major driverless car trial is taking place. He stated, however, that driverless cars are coming sooner than people may be expecting and insurers need to be ready. In light of this, this year’s Queen’s Speech included plans to legislate insurance requirements for driverless cars.
Jones said that car insurance will need to change as the data traditionally used to price insurance will become obsolete as vast quantities of new data becomes available.
Importantly, in the event of a driverless collision in driverless mode, he said it would be the vehicle at fault, not the driver. Therefore, motor insurance will be extended to cover product liability, so where the vehicle is at fault, the insurer will be able to seek reimbursement from the manufacturer.
“The vital point is that, for affected individuals, the insurance process will feel much the same. Motorists and victims of collisions won’t be forced to go to court to obtain compensation,” Jones said. “It’s an uncertain time. But also an exciting time.”