The UK’s first personal driverless car insurance policy has been launched by provider Adrian Flux.
The company said the new policy is a bid by to support the UK’s attempts to position itself at the forefront of self-driving technology.
The policy could encourage debate and discussion around the issue of liability and autonomous technology, issues which need to be resolved before the technology can launch to consumers.
A recent poll found that 65 per cent of British motorists believe a human should always be in control of a vehicle despite the development of driverless cars.
The policy is designed for consumers who may already have driverless features in their existing cars, such as self-parking, or who may be thinking of buying a new car with driverless or autopilot features.
Gerry Bucke, general manager for Adrian Flux, says: “As the UK continues to invest in driverless research in preparation for the growing market for autonomous vehicles in the near future, we wanted to help provide confidence and clarity around the ongoing debate of ‘who is liable?’
“We understand this driverless policy to be the first of its kind in the UK – and possibly the world. It’s a fantastic starting point for the insurance industry and the policy, like any other, will be updated as both the liability debate and driverless technology evolve.”
The Modern Transport Bill, announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech, will extend compulsory cover to accidents where the car itself, rather than the driver, is at fault.
The UK’s road minister, Andrew Jones, has said the insurance industry would need to adapt to the introduction of driverless cars and the question of liability.
“In the event of a serious collision in driverless mode, it would be the vehicle at fault, instead of the human driver,” he said.
The new policy insures for additional problems that may occur in autonomous vehicles.
Problems with updates or security patches are covered, as are issues with satellite failures that can result in the car losing its position on the map. Loss or damage incurred from hacking by malicious individuals is also covered.
This is one of the biggest vulnerabilities identified in driverless cars, with many high-profile cases involving big manufacturers such as Jeep revealing security flaws in existing software.