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IAG calls for automated vehicle makers to use standardised interface

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IAG says driverless car manufacturers must share vehicle use data and technical details if insurers are to continue offering cover.

It wants a standardised interface that all manufacturers would use to share proprietary information in the same format, allowing insurers to compare and assess the risk of each manufacturer’s Automated Driving System (ADS).

“We understand there would likely be hesitancy from manufacturers to readily share this information,” IAG says in a new submission to the Federal Government-funded National Transport Commission (NTC).

“However, we believe it could be done as long as we work collaboratively across industries and the regulator has put in place appropriate information security standards and procedures.”

The NTC will take recommendations to ministers on all key legislative elements required for a nationally-consistent commercial deployment of automated vehicles in Australia after inviting submissions on driverless technology proposals.

IAG wants technical information sharing of ADS to be required under a national Automated Vehicle Safety Law (AVSL).

Motor insurance is currently based on the technical assessment of the vehicle and forecast driving behaviour based on a person’s history and statistics.

IAG warns that “as the ‘driver’ becomes software or algorithms”, the insurance industry will need access to data and technical information on how this performs, to adequately price cover.

“For the insurance industry to continue to offer products, insurers need to understand and assess the risks,” IAG says.

A framework for storing data and sharing data that is standardised, readable and accessible should be created as data is critical for all parties to succeed in the connected and AV network.

The type of data produced, the length of time for which it is stored and who can access it and how, should all form part of a “robust data governance framework” managed by a neutral, independent entity to ensure privacy and appropriate use of that data, the submission urges.

“Considering recent international events and travel restrictions we also recommend this data be kept in Australia so access to it will not be compromised,” IAG says.

IAG also says an AV breaking a road rule should be seen as a malfunction or a lack of compliance with the general safety duty and companies should be fined.

“There should be no reason as to why safety duty is not upheld … when it relates to a fleet of machines,” IAG says. “One error could lead to a fault in 100 or 1000 vehicles or a fleet of large trucks. The consequences of error here are too high.”