ADAS already proving the UBI case

Technology’s role in insurance data gathering, explored by Robert Gray.

ADAS features are becoming more commonplace on new vehicles rolling off production lines and while the systems function to help drivers navigate more safely, it’s unclear just how much visibility insurance carriers have on the performance of these next generation enhancements.

“Most insurers are happy to give discounts for new features that are proven to reduce their costs but when systems are new such as many ADAS options, there isn’t the claims experience available at the time when the systems are introduced,” notes Andy Goldby, chief product officer for telematics data management firm The Floow.

All this will change as carmaker telematics data becomes available and insurance companies can readily identify which systems were fitted, active and activated at any given time and this will then enable insurers to rate them far more accurately.“Most insurers have done limited analysis of the loss cost savings from ADAS equipment. These savings will eventually be built into vehicle symbol rating through the standard processes, once sufficient experience emerges,” says Robin Harbage, director, Willis Towers Watson.

Since the ADAS systems are in a nascent stage and more data must be collected, Harbage notes: “In the meantime, HLDI has provided significant guidance in the expected loss cost savings from ADAS equipment.”

Sweden’s If P&C Insurance and Volvo jointly produced one of the first deep dives into how some ADAS features are functioning in the real world, evaluating rear-end collision avoidance technologies. The study looked at cars with forward collision warning and brake support combined with adaptive cruise control (CWB + ACC). It used data from insurance claims and showed that vehicles equipped with CWB+ACC saw 38% fewer rear-end crashes with frontal impacts.

The research also showed that the latest technology at that time was even more effective at avoiding crashes than prior models. It found a collision avoidance rate of 45% for the third-generation features. Volvo executives point to this collaboration and others, noting a long tradition of the manufacturer working with insurance companies. Eva Lahti, product attribute senior manager, driver assistance and safetyat Volvo says the cooperation is expected to increase going forward “for the task of measuring the performance of the ADAS and its ability to minimise risks.”

Lahti points to an insurance study that covered more than 100,000 insured vehicle years that found cars equipped with the carmaker’s City Safety featured were involved in 27% fewer accidents and subsequent insurance claims. Clearly greater cooperation will enhance these studies. “Since these features have not been available on the market for a long time and in large volumes yet, many technologies were not possible to evaluate,” explains Lahti. However, she adds that it will be forthcoming: “After the summer holidays, a report on the LDW effectiveness will be available. Also, blind spot Information systems and pedestrian detection systems are waiting for their real-world follow-up.”

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