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Swiss Re to design AV cover for China tech giant

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Swiss Re has partnered with China’s Baidu to provide insurance solutions for its autonomous vehicle (AV) driving business, including cover for intelligent cockpits and “robotaxi” driverless taxis.

The first launch will be insurance for an automated valet parking product.

Baidu, the dominant internet search engine company in China, partnered in June with state-owned automaker BAIC Group to build 1000 driverless cars over the next three years after testing robotaxis in major cities such as Shanghai.

Swiss Re Head of Automotive & Mobility Solutions Andrea Keller says the goal of the partnership is to quantify the differences between AV behaviour and human-driven vehicles.

“We analyse how automated cars perceive their surroundings and how they process that information and respond to it. Ultimately, we aim to bring motor insurance products to the next level of innovation,” she said.

Autonomous driving poses new challenges to the insurance industry, including rapid technological upgrades, increasingly diversified risks and limited data. The new partnership will develop widespread insurance solutions, including product pricing, claims and underwriting data standards.

CEO Reinsurance Asia Russell Higginbotham says the partnership is a “milestone” in Swiss Re’s efforts to access new risk pools.

“By combining our respective risk knowledge and insights, we hope to jointly explore and develop innovative products and solutions, catalyse the transformation of the autonomous driving value chain and further advance the mobility ecosystem,” he said.