Increase in connected car technology sees drivers wanting insurance against hackers
Driverless cars, once the reserve of sci-fi novels and movies, are now being tested on the roads.
While this technology may impress some, others are more unsure of autonomous vehicles, leading to many debates over driverless cars. One particular hot topic is insurance for such vehicles. But what do drivers want from insurance for autonomous vehicles?
A recent survey by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart found that nearly three quarters (74%) of motorists want insurance against hackers accessing control systems in driverless cars.
According to Fleet News, the survey questioned nearly 1,200 on their opinions on what autonomous vehicles will mean for them. It comes as the UK progresses towards making driverless cars mainstream.
IAM RoadSmart has used the results of the survey to guide its response to the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles’ consultation, Pathway to Driverless Cars.
Of those questioned, nearly half (46%) said it was a good or very good idea for insurers to be required to include cover for driverless cars in their new policies in the future.
However, there were discrepancies when it came to being asked if this adds to the cost of insurance for all drivers, with more than two thirds (68%) disagreeing with the proposal, compared with 23% who were in agreement.
While motorists might be interested in the idea of autonomous technology, the majority of respondents were against driver assistance systems being able to take control over the driver.
The survey asked respondents is they agreed with amending Highway Code rule 150 which states “do not rely on driver assistance systems”. More than half (55%) said no, while over a third (35%) said yes.
But that wasn’t the only rule change that motorists were against, as respondents were also overwhelmingly against changing the rules to allow self-driving cars to manoeuvre themselves without an occupant in the vehicle.
The Highway Code currently states that drivers should be in full control of a vehicle and switch off the engine when you’re not in it. When asked if the Highway Code rules should be changed to allow a car to park itself, only 6% strongly supported this, while 13% supported it and 69% were completely against.
Director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, Neil Greig, commented: “In our view it is logical that hacking electronic systems in autonomous vehicles is treated the same way as a traditionally stolen vehicle, with the insurer bearing the cost.”
He notes that implementing this is an important way of developing consumer confidence around the technology, which is regarded in mixed ways by consumers.
Greig added: “Previous research we have carried out shows that road users are by and large excited about their development.
“But they still have concerns about responsibility, especially when it comes down to liability.”