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18th of January 2018

Automotive



Waymo partners with insurance firm to cover AV riders

Waymo, the self-driving company spun out from Google, is partnering with insurance startup Trov to provide trip-based coverage for autonomous vehicle riders.

The deal is part of Waymo's upcoming driverless vehicle ride-hailing pilot and marks one of the first attempts to adjust insurance practices for mobility service riders rather than vehicle drivers. The service will provide coverage for lost property, trip interruptions and medical expenses for passengers.

"As we prepare to launch a commercial service, we're thrilled to collaborate with Trov to unlock the full potential of shared mobility," said Shaun Stewart, Waymo's director of operations, in a statement.

Founded in 2012, Trov is a mobile insurance company that covers lost, damaged or stolen personal items, such as phones, laptops, sports equipment and musical instruments. Customers may sign up for the service via mobile app and can turn on insurance coverage for individual items at any time. Users can text Trov representatives to file a claim.

Trov's partnership with Waymo marks the first time the company has worked in the automotive or mobility space.

Waymo said in November that it has been operating test autonomous vehicles without a human in the driver's seat on public roads in Arizona. The company added that it would begin to remove safety drivers from vehicles used in its "early rider program," which allows select Phoenix area residents to use Waymo cars for daily commutes, in the coming months.

Adding insurance coverage for driverless trips is another step toward deploying a larger-scale commercial robotaxi service, preparing for a time when a wider population will use Waymo vehicles frequently, increasing the likelihood of lost items or medical issues. During the pilot phase, Waymo will pay the insurance premium.

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