Trials will be run in four cities across the UK


AXA has been chosen as an insurance expert partner for two of the three driverless car projects given the go ahead in yesterday’s Autumn Statement.

The insurer will monitor and evaluate the emerging risks to facilitate changes to existing legislation and provide a sound insurance template for the new technology.

AXA will be responsible for overseeing risk assessment throughout the Bristol-based VENTURER project and will form part of an advisory panel that examines the regulatory implications as the UK Autodrive project progresses in Milton Keynes and Coventry.

In the Autumn Statement, the government announced a further £9m of funding for the testing of driverless cars, and confirmed trials would be held in Bristol, London, Milton Keynes and Coventry from next year.

AXA UK chief executive Chris Evans said the testing of autonomous vehicles would represent a major overhaul of motoring in the UK.

“AXA is delighted to be a partner in bringing semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles to UK roads,” he said. “We are committed to developing insurance solutions for new and emerging risks as technological innovation seeks to improve the lives of our customers, and are proud that our involvement will help create a regulatory framework that will support the most significant transformation in road travel since the introduction of the internal combustion engine.

 “AXA believes that these vehicles have the potential to transform society for the better. Autonomous vehicles can help reduce the needless number of lives lost through road traffic accidents caused by human error and assist in driving down fuel costs and consumption. In cities, the project has the potential to change the idea of car ownership altogether and consign costly and time consuming traffic jams to the history books.”