Briefing: Automaker Chang’an debuts car insurance for automated parking mishaps

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长安汽车推出自动驾驶保险 — Xinhua

What happened: Chinese auto manufacturer Chang’an announced last week on microblogging platform Weibo an auto insurance product which covers damage caused by its automated parking assistant system (APA). Clients will be eligible for as much as RMB 550,000 ($80,000) in compensation provided they followed instructions when parking, said the company in an announcement. The Chongqing-based OEM did not reveal the name of the insurer providing the coverage, but said its APA solution was offered by French Tier One supplier Valeo, which includes 12 ultrasonic sensors in front and to the rear of its car that precisely detect parking spaces and “rarely makes mistakes.”

Why it’s important: The emergence of the evolving self-driving technologies brings challenges and uncertainties to the auto insurance industry, leaving questions to insurers including the way premiums are set and who undertakes which liability. Chang’an says its is the first auto insurance product for driverless technologies in China, where domestic OEMs, auto suppliers, and tech companies are embracing the rise of connected vehicles. The Chinese automaker unveiled a partnership with tech giants including Tencent and Alibaba to form a joint venture in the mobility industry in late March. It had announced in August that it would cease production of all non-connected vehicle models by 2020.