UK Government driverless cars project selects RSA as insurance partner
Driverless cars have always been something we have become accustomed to through sci-fi films and TV shows. Remember K.I.T.T from Knight Rider in the popular 1980’s TV show? It may have been a cheesy show, but with government funding and a real drive to make driverless cars a reality it would always raise the question of insurance.
RSA today (4 December 2014) announced that it has been selected as the insurance partner for a Government-backed project to pilot driverless cars in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London. The project contract, awarded to a consortium led by TRL – the leading transport innovation consultant – which RSA is a member of, is part of the Government’s recent announcement to test the suitability of driverless cars in locations across the UK.
The consortium has been selected by Innovate UK to deliver the GATEway project (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment), one of three projects awarded to test driverless vehicles. The £8 million scheme will start in January 2015 and will carry out three trials of different types of zero emission automated vehicles over the next three years within a test environment in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The objective of the project is primarily to investigate driver behaviour of driverless cars. Risk, liability and insurance issues will also be researched and the project will monitor how pedestrians interact with the vehicles. Once complete, the research will be used to inform how these cars can be integrated into the existing UK transport infrastructure.
Commenting on the win, Kenny Leitch, Global Telematics Director at RSA, said: “We’re delighted to have won this contract. Driverless cars are a fantastic innovation which will fundamentally change the world of motoring and car insurance.
“There are many unanswered questions around how these cars will be insured and through our involvement in this project we will be one of the first insurers to gain first-hand knowledge of the technology. As a result, we’ll be strongly positioned to educate drivers and also offer the most appropriate insurance for these cars.”
Other large multinational companies that are part of the The GATEway project consortium include Shell and Telefonica.