Baidu, Swiss Re ink partnership to explore insurance for autonomous vehicles

Swiss reinsurance company teams up with Chinese tech giant Baidu to develop insurance services that cover the entire value chain of autonomous driving, spanning producing pricing, claims, and underwriting data standards.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Baidu and Swiss Re have teamed up to develop insurance services that they say will cover the entire value chain of autonomous driving. The partnership also aims to enable reinsurance companies such as Swiss Re to customise products for autonomous driving that address the requirements of technology companies. 

These insurance offerings would cover various areas, including the selection of risk factors, product pricing, claims, and underwriting data standards, the two partners said in a joint statement Friday. The services would be tailored based on Baidu's technology as well as data insights from both partners. 

"Autonomous driving poses new challenges to the insurance industry, including rapid technological upgrades, increasingly diversified risks, and limitation of data availability," they said. "This partnership will advance risk management research and insurance protection for autonomous vehicles, representing an important step forward in building a comprehensive ecosystem of mobility services."

The collaboration also include the introduction of an insurance service offering for Baidu's Apollo Valet Parking, a feature offered under the Chinese tech vendor's autonomous vehicle product that allows for remote pick-up and return, and self-parking. 

Swiss Re and Baidu would broaden this in future to encompass risk management research and other insurance services for autonomous driving computing platforms, intelligent cockpits, autonomous taxis, and various automated driving products. 

Swiss Re's head of automotive and mobility solutions Andrea Keller said: "Together with our partner Baidu, we analyse how automated cars perceive their surroundings and how they process that information and respond to it. Our goal is to understand how such vehicles behave differently than human-driven ones and quantify these differences. Ultimately, we aim to bring motor insurance products to the next level of innovation."

Swiss Re said it had been working with international technology companies, OEMs, and testing centres to build a better understanding of vehicle behaviour and performance to develop customised insurance products and services. 

Baidu in June said it would build 1,000 autonomous ride-hailing electric vehicles over the the next three years through its partnership with state-owned Chinese manufacturer, BAIC Group. Baidu's fifth generation of robotaxis would be produced at 480,000 yuan ($74,987) each, which it said was a third of the average cost of manufacturing a Level 4 self-driving vehicle.  


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