Concern over insurance disputes with driverless cars

| Transport

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SmartWitness survey shows the level of concern held by motorists on the dispute process over insurance claims involving autonomous vehicles.

A survey undertaken by in-vehicle surveillance company, SmartWitness, has been gauging the public reaction to the advent of driverless cars in Britain as the country gains Government and industry support for the rapid development of autonomous vehicles.

Of all those surveyed, half oppose autonomy with over 60% saying they’d feel less safe on the country’s roads with vehicles which had no driver and 72% worried about complications regarding insurance claims.

The results come when the Government has pledged to make the development of driverless cars a priority in the country with the Queen announcing that the Modern Transport Bill will ensure the country is at the forefront of autonomous and electric vehicle technology.

With trials on public roads pencilled in to start taking place next year, autonomous vehicles could be commonplace by the end of the decade. However, motorists are still expressing their uncertainty and want to ensure that there is equity in the area of insurance disputes particularly.

The CCTV specialist’s survey showed that over 90% of motorists support the notion of making camera technology compulsory in all autonomous vehicles to be used as evidence if a collision occurs.

According to SmartWitness, the prospect of Britain taking a global lead in autonomy is very exciting although it remains a concern that so many people have fear of what would happen in a collision.

Commenting on this, the company’s Chief Executive, Paul Singh said, “Around 40% of all motor insurance claims are disputed, but how do you resolve a dispute when you can only hear evidence from one of the drivers involved? The simplest way to eliminate the problem is to make camera technology compulsory in all autonomous vehicles. This will provide court with admissible proof in the event of an accident and help to alleviate motorists’ fears about the introduction of driverless cars.”

Just 2% of accidents recorded on cameras result in disputed claims and dashcams are now used in more than half of Britain’s fleets, according to the Road Haulage Association.

Increasing numbers of private motorists are also using them to guard against ‘cash for crash’ fraudsters and reduce insurance premiums.

Jonathan Newell
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