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The Data Roadblock to Insuring Self-Driving Vehicles


The Data Roadblock to Insuring Self-Driving Vehicles

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The recent King’s speech set the wheels of the Automotive Vehicle (AV) Bill [i] in motion. This establishes how semi and fully autonomous vehicles are expected to operate and function on UK roads, and who is responsible in the event of an accident. However, unless insurance providers can gain access to AV driving mode data, these vehicles could be uninsurable.


Currently 95%[ii] of road accidents are caused by human error, yet through the work LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has done to bring Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) data into insurance quoting, we know that ADAS can reduce accident claims by over 30%[iii]. The potential self-driving vehicles offer in improving road safety, as well as convenience, reduced driver fatigue and accessibility, cannot be denied.

While the AV Bill[iv] has clarified responsibility in the event of an accident by stating that the Automated Self-Driving Entity (ASDE) will be responsible when the car is in autonomous mode, how this status will be shared with insurance providers is less certain. The ASDE will typically be whoever has developed and operates the autonomous service, such as the vehicle manufacturer or component / services provider, particularly when the technology sits on top of a vehicle platform. Either way, insurance providers must obtain the vehicle driving mode status efficiently and effectively at First Notice of Loss (FNOL). Afterall, without knowledge of who is at fault, how can a claim be processed?

Clearly, there needs to be a standardised way for insurance providers to access driving mode status information from vehicles. To make this work, drivers will need to understand exactly what the capability of their self-driving vehicle (SDV) offers, and importantly, opt in to sharing their data. What’s more, the vehicle will need to be connected, and insurance providers will need detailed knowledge of the technology in use within the vehicle.

Right now, interested parties in the insurance sector are doing their utmost to break down this data roadblock to insuring SDVs. LexisNexis Risk Solutions is amongst them. Already, increasing numbers of insurance providers are ingesting ADAS data into the quote process. This is a key step as the market prepares for increasing levels of vehicle driver assistance and autonomy. LexisNexis® Vehicle Build reveals the presence, purpose and performance of a variety of ADAS fitments at VIN level, as well as their impact in reducing claims frequency at the point of quote.

Confirming ADAS fitment is just the start. LexisNexis®Vehicle Build has been developed with an eye to future-proofing the data needed by insurance providers, and to ultimately expose data and insight into more advanced and complex vehicles – including connected car and automated vehicles.

Indeed, our connected car team at LexisNexis Risk Solutions is already working with vehicle manufacturers to establish connections to data sources that will confirm software versions, as well as whether the features can be updated over-the-air (OTA). In the future, the data available may also include real-time connected car data that could confirm the active use of any given ADAS fitment by the driver. Coupled with established connections to DVLA registration data (which will be able to confirm if a vehicle has autonomous capability at the point of registration), we are already making solid progress to achieving the data insights needed to make self-driving vehicles insurable.


[ii] The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

[iii] LexisNexis Risk Solutions analysis globally


Content provided by Andrew Ballard, product principle, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Insurance