Toronto, ON (July 9, 2015) – Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., and Comet, a developer of ground mobile robotics pilot projects, have engaged in a feasibility study focused on autonomous vehicle (AV) data and market development opportunities. This engagement is part of Munich Re America’s overall commitment to understanding and developing solutions for emerging and future risks.
Autonomous vehicles are expected to make driving safer, but they also pose new questions about risk and liability, which the feasibility study will begin to examine.
“Autonomous vehicles are an emerging risk because they could potentially change how the public travels, how travel is regulated and the nature of transportation risk,” said Tony Kuczinski, President and CEO of Munich Re America, Inc. “We believe that AV technology offers tremendous potential to save lives, reduce accidents, provide fuel economies, and improve road efficiencies. However, there is still much to learn before society can fully harness the benefits of this technology, and it is why we are working with Comet and other public and private entities to develop business solutions for this emerging risk.”
“Comet works with corporations, government and end users to educate them about the advantages of vehicle automation through real work demonstrations and pilots,” said Comet President Corey Clothier. “Our engagement with Munich Re involves “kicking the tires” to see how AV technology is applicable in the real world.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicles with automated safety controls are already on the road, incorporating such features as adaptive cruise control used in combination with lane keeping. The NHTSA expects the number of AVs on the road to continue to increase, first as additions to existing vehicles and then as fully integrated systems.
Potential questions around AV risk and liability include whether personal liability might shift from the driver, to product liability on the part of the vehicle manufacturer or systems provider because of mechanical or software failure.
Mike Scrudato, Senior Vice President, Strategic Innovation Leader at Munich Re America, Inc., said, “In the transition to fully autonomous vehicles, there will be a variety of AV types on the road, which will add complexity in laws and law enforcement, liability and underwriting. Other risks include cyber security to protect the communications systems within and between vehicles.”
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Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2014, the Group – which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof – achieved a profit of �3.2bn on premium income of over �48bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 43,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around �27bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Its primary insurance operations are concentrated mainly in the ERGO Insurance Group, one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2014, ERGO posted premium income of �18bn. In international healthcare business, Munich Re pools its insurance and reinsurance operations, as well as related services, under the Munich Health brand. Munich Re’s global investments amounting to �227bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.
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Source: Munich Re