Self-driving vehicles have potential to save NHS up to £2.3bn every year

  • New AXA UK analysis shows self-driving vehicles could save the NHS up to £2.3bn every year in medical and ambulance costs associated with crashes on our roads
  • According to Department for Transport data, 85% of collisions involve an element of human error that would be eliminated with a self-driving vehicle

AXA UK is calling on the Government to prioritise self-driving legislation in the forthcoming King’s Speech after new analysis revealed it has the potential to save the UK billions of pounds in costs relating to road crashes.

Government data has shown road collisions cost the UK £43.2bn in 2022. Of this, £2.3bn was a direct expense to the NHS for medical and ambulance costs. With 85% of all road crashes involving an element of human error according to the Department for Transport, self-driving technology could have a significant financial impact.

“The Government has a self-driving bill waiting in the wings that is likely to win cross-party support. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to prioritise road safety on 7 November and include the bill in the King’s Speech.”

“The potential savings, coupled with improved safety on our roads, make self driving the most exciting transport innovation since the invention of the modern motor car. As a leading motor insurer, road safety is incredibly important to us and we urgently need legislation so we can define liability and plan for the future.” - David Ovenden, AXA UK Chief Underwriting Officer

“It's important that we ensure the future of driving has safety at its core. Currently five people die on British roads every day and many more receive life-changing injuries. Road death is traumatic and has a lasting effect on families and communities. And if we can make this new era of transport safer, then we can work towards a world where everyone is safe on roads.” - Ross Moorlock, interim CEO at Brake, the road safety charity

The Law Commission made recommendations last year on a regulatory framework for self driving following a three-year study, which the Government accepted. AXA UK says the 75 recommendations now need to be adopted into legislation as a priority.

Without it, the UK could miss out on opportunities to attract investment. The self-driving industry is expected to be worth £42bn to the UK economy by 2035 and create 50,000 highly skilled green jobs. Having once been a global leader in the motor industry, any delay could irreversibly impact the UK’s ability to once again lead the world in this exciting technological advance.

As well as offering financial and employment benefits, self-driving technology has the potential to unlock mobility issues for thousands of people across the UK including the elderly, those with disabilities and the young, especially in remote areas where there are few transport options.

“If the Government doesn’t act swiftly, the UK risks being left behind and investment will go elsewhere. As an insurer, we need to know where liability lies so we can assess the risk and provide cover for these vehicles.” - David Ovenden, AXA UK Chief Underwriting Officer.

Authored by AXA


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