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Thatcham puts spotlight on latest cyber-crime and crash avoidance developments

The vehicle insurance safety and security research centre will be attending the event at the ILEC Conference Centre in London on 23 November and will talk about:

  • The Cyber Security Consortium for Connected Vehicles (CCCV), which has been set up to tackle the threat of hacking and cyber-crime through a collaborative approach to identifying potential complex threats and developing solutions to these;
  • The changing face of the insurance industry as vehicle automation replaces the driver’s role and that there is a transfer or personal liability to product liability;

In addition in the exhibition area, Thatcham Research running automated driving demonstrations with cars taking over tricky parking manoeuvres and helping to avoid the shunts and bumps of city driving.

Andrew Miller, Thatcham Research’s chief technical officer and chairman of Euro NCAP, who will be leading a workshop on cyber security at the conference, said: “The key to keeping criminals at bay is in a joined-up approach to creating robust standards for secure vehicle architecture and ensuring these are applied as soon as possible. With an ever-widening range of stakeholders moving into the automotive space, bringing the likes of Google and Apple alongside the more traditional vehicle manufacturers, it is critical to establish robust security standards and protocols around cyber security that everyone can agree and work to, and which will avoid the kind of fragmented approach that hackers could exploit.”

Nicholas Clay, senior safety testing manager at Thatcham, who will talk about the seismic shift facing the insurance industry with increased automation, added: “The evolutionary process of vehicle autonomy is currently in the early parts of the four stages towards fully driverless cars: ‘feet off, hands off, eyes off, and then brain off’.”

“Removing the driver removes 90% of the most common causes of vehicle accidents, so collisions will be fewer and take place at lower speeds.  Already autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is changing insurers’ claims experience cutting the number of claims by as much as 38%, and vehicle write-offs tailing off by 18% in the next 10 years.”

One possibility is that private car ownership could fall as one car serves a multi-car household, or each communal vehicle is in continuous use rather than left at a train station or airport for hours or days.

“For insurers, this scenario presents a different and as-yet unknown risk.  No longer is the driver the focus of an insurance policy,” he added. “Age, experience, earlier traffic offences become less central, and it is the vehicle itself, its component parts, and the organisation controlling it that must be insured.”

“While the hardware already exists to make cars fully autonomous, we need extensive vehicle testing, and to address the legal, political and cultural aspects of this change to our driving habits.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.