Articles - Keeping pace with advances in ADAS

Eight out of ten new cars are sold in the UK with some form of self-activating safety system, or Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), representing the first level of vehicle autonomy. Yet the on-going investment being made by car buyers in car safety technology, has, until recently, largely gone unrecognised by motor insurance providers when the customer applies for an insurance quote. There is little doubt ADAS can assist in reducing claims losses but they can also add to the repair costs .

 By Andrew Ballard, Product Principal, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Insurance, UK &I
 To price effectively, insurance providers need to appreciate exactly how a car is equipped at the point of quote - including any ADAS features chosen as optional extras - and how those fittings impact claims. Not only that, they need to keep pace with the continuing advances in ADAS.

 It’s taken several years of research and development to solve the challenge of bringing ADAS data into the insurance workflow, but now, for the first time, insurance providers can understand and evaluate the specific standard and optional ADAS fitted to a vehicle at a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) level, to help improve loss and expense ratios and support fair and competitive pricing.

 More than 3 million vehicles have been analysed to date to understand the link between claims frequency and the presence and performance of today’s ADAS. Interestingly, this analysis which covered large parts of Europe, uncovered on average eight safety features per vehicle in the U.K. car parc, making the U.K among the leaders in the adoption of automated vehicle safety systems across Europe. Furthermore, 69% of cars analysed in Europe by LexisNexis Risk Solutions were equipped with a “core”iii safety feature and are therefore less likely to have an at fault insurance claim.

 As technology develops, this percentage is expected to increase but it will also become more challenging and complex for insurance providers to assess risk for the different types of vehicle technology now emerging. Advanced technologies, such as sensors or cameras within door mirrors, bumpers and exposed external surfaces, are high in consumer demand, and they’re becoming a larger part of the total component cost and the total at-risk element for insurance purposes.

 ADAS feature groupings and vehicle sensors are increasingly becoming interconnected and inter-related, in a process referred to as sensor fusion. As an example, we have seen deployments of ADAS that are able to determine when the driver seems incapacitated - perhaps they have fallen asleep at the wheel or had a heart attack - sensor fusion enables joint readings to be taken from Driver Monitoring; Forward Collision; Adaptive Cruise and Lane Assistance. Combined, the systems notice that the driver is not attentive plus the driver is not managing the vehicle speed and direction because those systems keep having to activate. When this overall conclusion is reached, the car will safely move to the side of the road, park and apply the hazard warning lamps. It can also call emergency services to seek assistance.

 Lane Assist capabilities are advancing at a pace - the mapping company HERE is working with car manufacturers on lane assist to take account of the actual road layout the vehicle is on and approaching. This would allow for more predictive and accurate positioning of the vehicle – taking account of road layout, bends and contours.

 In addition, remote feature deployment and over- the-air updates are becoming more common. This is where the vehicle is built with the on-board equipment and capabilities, and these can be activated post-sale (by subscription or one-off upgrade cost). System software can also be upgraded over-the-air to both keep it up to date and add new capabilities, often called “feature on-demand”.

 It is clear that solutions to monitor ADAS must be continuously updated as quickly as the technology that is being deployed by car manufacturers. This is where it becomes crucial to work with car manufacturers to evolve ADAS solutions such as LexisNexis® Vehicle Build now being used by motor insurance providers to assess risk and optimise pricing. That is our focus at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, to bridge the static vehicle build data and dynamic connected car data to help motor insurance providers keep pace with the continuing advances in ADAS technologies.

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