Lloyd’s of London is looking into its auto coverage options to prepare for the impending rise in driverless technology.
Chief Executive Officer John Neal said that the 330-year-old insurance market is in discussions with automakers about different policies as car ownership changes. He said that the shift is “inevitable” as companies explore their own insurance options.
“Within five years, particularly in an urban environment, we’ll find a very different approach to the supply of a motor vehicle and the insurance that goes with it,” Neal said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It won’t be conventional motor insurance.”
While some experts have said that driverless cars may slash the need for auto policies, Neal believes that autonomous vehicles will simply result in demand for a different product — not the end of car insurance.
The comments come as the self-driving vehicle market is heating up. Just this week it was reported that Uber “unveiled its newest Volvo self-driving car … as it works to eventually deploy vehicles without drivers under some limited conditions. Uber said the new production XC90 will be assembled by Volvo Cars in Sweden and have human controls like steering wheels and brake pedals, but also with factory-installed steering and braking systems designed for computer rather than human control.”
The vehicle reportedly employs artificial technology that enables it to “drive autonomously for long distances on highways without maps and ‘on the fly’ to plot its course and navigate construction zones.”
And Waymo has started testing self-driving Jaguar I-PACE vehicles on public streets after announcing a partnership with Jaguar to create the world’s first high-end, electric, fully self-driving vehicle for Waymo’s transportation service.
The company plans to add up to 20,000 I-PACE vehicles to its fleet over the next few years, which it said is enough to drive around 1 million trips in a typical day, offering its self-driving services to communities around the country.