Apollo claims European first for autonomous vehicle insurance

Apollo Group has provided a first of its kind insurance solution for Europe’s first zero-occupancy on-road autonomous vehicle journey, completed by autonomous vehicle software company, Oxbotica.

This marks not only a European first for Oxford and Toronto based Oxbotica, but also a first of its kind UK insurance solution created specifically for and tailored to the new and evolving risks associated with Level 4 autonomy on open roads.

The insurance programme was created by Apollo ibott through its managing general agent (MGA), in partnership in the UK with insurer Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe, and arranged by re/insurance broker, Marsh.

The programme is a landmark placement and significant milestone in the journey to create an insurance market for autonomous technology that will enable and bolster the development and deployment of this transformative technology.

At the same time, the all-electric AppliedEV vehicle is operating in Oxford with no on-board driver, marking the next step in commercialising AV technology.

In addition, Oxbotica will also now accelerate commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles globally.

By working with partners, including ZF, bp and NEVS, the technology will enable autonomous passenger shuttles and industry-specific platforms across multiple domains.

Rebecca Marsden, underwriter at Apollo ibott, said: “The world is on the cusp of a once in a lifetime world-changing technology revolution, and Apollo through its ibott business, in partnership in the UK with Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe as insurer, is thrilled to have taken the first step with Oxbotica in ensuring universal autonomy reaches its full potential, enabled by innovative, comprehensive and flexible insurance solutions.”

Sam Tiltman, sharing economy and mobility leader, UK & Ireland, Marsh, added: “Insurance is fundamental to the advancement of Oxbotica’s trials; this latest exciting development signals growing market confidence in how AVs will revolutionise UK transport infrastructure.”

Moreover, founded in 2014 by Paul Newman, Oxbotica’s full stack, end-to-end universal autonomy software, the Oxbotica Driver, is both vehicle and platform-agnostic, with no dependence on external infrastructure such as GPS.

The Oxbotica Driver also uses a combination of radar vision and laser-based sensors to provide the vehicle with a strong understanding of its surroundings, with multiple AI continuously checking, and explaining decisions.

This process is a foundational requirement for the safe deployment of zero-occupancy autonomous vehicles and underpins the development of innovative insurance solutions for the future of transportation.

Meanwhile, in November 2021, it was announced that reinsurance giant, Swiss Re and Chinese tech giant, Baidu had partnered to advance insurance and risk management for autonomous driving and autonomous vehicles.

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