Travelers Joins MIT Research Groups Focused on Autonomous Transportation

October 10, 2019

The Travelers Companies has joined the Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), organizations working to advance research and public information about automated vehicle and driver assistance technologies.

The AVT Consortium includes auto manufacturers, insurance carriers and automated vehicle technology companies. The organization 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. The goal is to build consumer confidence in vehicle technology.

“As a leading auto insurer, we play a central role in the conversation about the future of transportation and mobility,” said Michael Klein, executive vice president and president of Personal Insurance at Travelers. “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.”

In addition to Travelers, major automakers and technology companies, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Consumer Reports, Progressive, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are among the members of the AVT Consortium.

The AVT Consortium began collecting data in January 2016, including data and insights on the ongoing innovations in automotive technology and changing consumer behaviors related to portable technologies brought into the vehicle.

PAVE is made up of industry, nonprofit and academic institutions. The group creates consumer awareness campaigns, develops information for sales and customer service personnel and hosts hands-on demonstrations and public workshops.

“Automated vehicle technologies are changing the risks on the road, including the dangers associated with distracted driving,” said Joan Woodward, executive vice president of Public Policy for Travelers and president of the Travelers Institute, who leads the company’s Every Second Matters distracted driving campaign. “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.”

Travelers’ white paper, titled Insuring Autonomy: How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks, offers the company’s assessment of the existing auto insurance structure, both personal and commercial, in the context of resolving claims and providing fair compensation to accident victims as vehicles become more autonomous.

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