Liberty Mutual has taken a preemptive step to helping brokers and customers alike better understand emerging autonomous vehicle technologies, partnering with a technology firm focused on the matter.

The Boston-based global property/casualty insurer said it has invested in and partnered with Edge Case Research, a Pennsylvania-based outfit that helps companies go to market with autonomous vehicle technologies and services that are safe, secure and reliable.

Along those lines, Edge Case Research announced Thursday that it raised $7 million in seed financing to help develop Hologram, an intelligent safety assessment platform for autonomous vehicle software that runs at the speed of modern machine learning development. Liberty Mutual’s venture arm – Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures – participated in the funding.

Liberty Mutual said its partnership with Edge Case Research is a strategic venture designed to help the customers and companies it services. Research on the Hologram project should help Liberty develop new risk management options and beef up others for companies that market autonomous vehicle products and services, the insurer said. As well, the partnership should help it better understand risk selection and pricing for these firms, it noted.

Liberty and Edge Case Research will also participate on the Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel, which is developing the industry standard for evaluating the safety of autonomous products (UL standard 4600).

Liberty said it sees autonomous vehicle technology that is emerging as having great potential to improve safety, and so it will continue to invest in developing expertise and products to support it.

Source: Liberty Mutual, Edge Case Research