The Travelers Companies, Inc. said it has joined two groups focused on advancing research and public information about automated vehicle and driver assistance technologies.
They are the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).
Other insurance industry AVT members include Liberty Mutual, Progressive and The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, along with auto companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, Volvo and Audi; Google, which is developing a driverless car through its Waymo arm; Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. PAVE membership has some crossover with AVT such as Liberty Mutual, Toyota, Audi and Waymo, but others who joined this group include Munich Re, AAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Public Transportation Association.
Michael Klein, executive vice president and president of Personal Insurance at Travelers, said that hope is that both new collaborations is to help the insurer understand, adapt to and embrace new automated technologies.
“Our goal through these new collaborations is to continue to understand the evolution of the technology, actively engage in research and contribute risk management insights to help improve auto safety for everyone,” Klein said in prepared remarks.
The AVT Consortium, whose members also include automated vehicle technology companies, studies driver behavior, including how drivers respond to and interact with adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous parking assistance, vehicle infotainment systems and smartphones. That data is shared with consortium members so they can identify how technology and other factors related to automation adoption can be improved.
PAVE and its industry, nonprofit and academic institution-members aim to inform and educate consumers and policymakers about automated vehicles. The group creates consumer awareness campaigns, develops information for sales and customer service personnel and hosts hands-on demonstrations and public workshops. The goal of these efforts is to build consumer confidence in vehicle technology.
“Automated vehicle technologies are changing the risks on the road, including the dangers associated with distracted driving,” Joan Woodward, Executive Vice President of Public Policy for Travelers and President of the Travelers Institute, which leads the company’s Every Second Matters distracted driving campaign, said in prepared reamrks. “We look forward to working closely with PAVE and MIT’s AVT Consortium, two groups that will help ensure the next phase of transportation includes improved mobility and safety.”