Aviva and Darwin announce five-year partnership

Aviva and Darwin Innovation Group have announced that they are entering into a five-year strategic partnership, beginning with collaboration on an autonomous vehicle trial.

Darwin is trialling an autonomous shuttle at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. Created by Navya, this vehicle, controlled by 5G and satellite connectivity, will be able to pick passengers up, transport them around the campus and drop them off at their destination, all without the involvement of a human driver. A second shuttle is expected to be added in the second year of operation.

Aviva is involved in the testing and development phases of this trial – “The trial will showcase the application of connected autonomous vehicles and allow Aviva to build its first comprehensive insurance model for this type of vehicle, which will evolve as the trial progresses.” The trial with Aviva builds on the October 2020 launch by O2 and Darwin Innovation Group of the Darwin SatCom Lab, the UK’s first commercial laboratory for 5G and satellite communications, situated at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. The laboratory enables companies like Aviva to explore next-generation connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles using both 5G and satellite communications.

“With this trial, we’re able to be there right from the start of the real-life application of autonomous vehicles operating on public roads, which will change not only our relationship with these vehicles but, more fundamentally, how we insure them. Autonomous vehicles could change the face of motor insurance within a decade. Through having access to the data from this trial, we can understand today the kinds of things we’ll have to consider in the future to keep passengers, pedestrians and all other road users safe when driverless technology hits public roads.” – Nick Amin, Chief Operating Officer at Aviva.

“I’m thrilled to be involved in this trial, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. The vehicles we insure are constantly evolving and fully autonomous vehicles are on their way to our roads. This will result in a huge shift in the way we underwrite and price for these risks. Being involved at the outset enables us to better understand the future of mobility and ensure that we have a product ready to insure the vehicles of the future. Most importantly, this demonstrates our core purpose of ‘with you today for a better tomorrow’.” – Tom Pitney, Motor Underwriter at Aviva.

“For any emergent market to be a success, we need to create an ecosystem of companies who share a vision for innovation and are willing to expand their core competency into something new. Emergent markets are usually found at the intersection of industries, and that is why, for the CAV ecosystem to work, we must gather actors from multiple industries to work together. The Darwin team are delighted to have Aviva as a partner in this ecosystem, jointly creating new insurance models and enabling CAVs to become mainstream in the UK market.” – Daniela Petrovic, Delivery Director at Darwin.

“It’s encouraging to see the CAV ecosystem grow through this strategic partnership between Darwin Innovation Group and Aviva. We’re also delighted to see companies putting theory into practice by launching trials using CAVs and building upon the work O2 kicked off in October last year through the launch of the Darwin SatCom Lab, which offers companies access to O2-customised autonomous vehicles in order to test proofs of concept.” – Sergio Budkin, Director of Business Products at O2.