Hopefully a new chapter for Tesla in the UK
Britain’s biggest motor insurer Direct Line is providing Tesla Inc drivers in Britain a 5-percent discount for switching on the vehicle’s autopilot system, looking to encourage use of a system it hopes will reduce on accidents.
The move – confirmed by company representatives in reaction to Reuters’ questions – is Tesla’s only tie-up in the UK comes when the company is attempting to convince insurance providers that its internet-connected vehicles are statistically safer.
Direct Line stated it was prematurely to say if using the autopilot system produced a safety record that justified lower premiums. It stated it was charging less to motivate use of the system and aid research.
“At present the driver is firmly in charge so it’s similar to insuring other cars, however it does offer Direct Line a great opportunity to learn and get ready for the future,” stated Dan Freedman, Head of Motor Development at Direct Line.
Direct Line sells insurance plan to consumers introduced to it by Tesla. Tesla then gives information on the functions and capabilities of its vehicles to help Direct Line set insurance costs.
According to Tesla’s website, a few of the autopilot functions consist of matching speed to traffic conditions, automatically changing lanes without driver input and even self-parking. The car can also be “summoned” from and to the garage.
“Crash rates throughout all Tesla models have dropped by 40 percent since the introduction of the auto-pilot system … However, when owners seek to insure their Tesla automobiles, this is not shown in the rates of premiums,” stated Daniel Pearce, Financial Expert at GlobalData.
“The insurance industry will gradually react to these developments,” Pearce said.
Direct Line, which is enjoying skyrocketing motor insurance costs in Britain, informed it sets premiums for Tesla motorists based on the risk they provide, also that who is driving, their age, driving experience and claim history.
“We aim to provide competitive premiums and we have welcomed a great number of Tesla drivers in the UK,” Freedman informed.
Tesla refused to define the number of vehicles with auto-pilot abilities presently are on British roads however industry figures pointed to UK data on imports, which recommend the number is over 4,500.