AXA is one of the signatories of an open letter to the UK Prime Minister, calling for a new set of laws and rules governming automated – or more accurately, ADAS equipped – vehicles. The move is timed to co-incide with the government proposals to allow drivers to watch TV, when travelling below 37mph in ADAS vehicles, which were released last week.
Some car manaufacturers are stating that they will honour any claims arising from semi-autonomous systems malfunctioning, but it’s hard to see how a series of incidents during the transition from automated system to driver, which result in a fatal accident, will not be the grounds for lengthy legal arguments in the future.
AXA UK&I, Wayve, Ocado and Virgin Group are amongst the 18 businesses calling for a comprehensive legal framework for the safe and sustainable deployment of AVs. With economic and societal benefits, such as improved road safety and reduced emissions, creating a legal and regulatory framework is fundamental to ensuring the UK remains a leader in the development and introduction of AVs.
Dougie Barnett, Director of Customer Risk Management at AXA UK commented;
“As one of the largest motor insurers, AXA is keen to support, promote and enable the take-up of automated technology on UK roads. Automated Vehicles would provide significant societal benefits, including safer, cleaner and more accessible roads and, via the development of the technology, would support SMEs scaling up and subsequently levelling-up throughout the UK.
However, the development of self-driving technology needs to be underpinned by a robust legal and regulatory framework, which prioritises the safety of all road users. With this letter, we are urging the Government to announce primary legislation for Automated Vehicles, ensuring safety remains at the heart of their development and deployment as well as advancing the benefits they bring to society.”
Having been involved in this space for over eight years, AXA plans to continue to support the development of automated vehicles through their APPG on Connected and Automated Mobility as well as through work across various government-backed automated vehicle projects with the ABI and by providing advice on safety, regulation, liability and data.