WASHINGTON — The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) today hosted a policy briefing entitled “Navigating the Future of Autonomous Vehicles” on Capitol Hill to discuss the rapidly emerging future of autonomous vehicles and how the private sector, safety community, and government are preparing America to move forward.
The event was the second installment of PCI’s 2017 Capital Engagement Series. Kate Carey, PCI’s vice president, federal government relations moderated the panel of experts including Nat Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Anne Marie Lewis, director of safety and technology policy at the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers; Patrick Lyden, senior public policy manager at Uber; Russ Martin, director of government relations at the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA); Bob Passmore, assistant vice president, PCI; and David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
“PCI is pleased to partner with our panelists to discuss the future of autonomous vehicles,” said Passmore. “The development of self-driving vehicles and assisted driving technology has the potential to make a quantum leap in road safety and access to transportation, but there are significant challenges ahead and important decisions to be made regarding the appropriate regulatory framework for the testing and deployment of such vehicles. It is also critical that insurers have access to data from automated vehicles so that they may promptly handle claims and compensate accident victims. Access to data is also necessary for insurers to support the rapidly emerging technology with new insurance products.”
“The potential of self-driving is core to our mission of reliable transportation, everywhere for everyone," added Lyden. "But the real promise of these new technologies come with the enhanced safety they will bring to our roads. 1.3 million people die a year globally as a result of car crashes and 94% of those crashes are due to human error. The responsible development and deployment of self-driving technologies can help reduce the number of those tragedies."
“GHSA looks forward to helping with the safe development and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology to help reduce traffic crashes,” said Martin. “As autonomous vehicles begin to mix with other road users, government, industry and the safety community should collaborate to help human drivers operate these new features and to share the road. States should also begin updating traffic safety laws and the rules of the road to anticipate autonomous operation.”
“Automated driving technology has great potential to improve the safety of ground transportation, but its benefits are not guaranteed. It is imperative to have public policy that ensures the availability of the types of data needed to conduct studies of AV safety, so government and independent researchers can help direct the technology’s evolution to the safest possible end,” said Zuby.