The future of airfreight – and much of daily life, it seems – is likely to be as autonomous as possible. However, the brave new world of driverless vehicles is bound to be hindered by tragedies like the one that happened earlier this week, when a woman in Arizona was struck and killed by one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles.
For terrible incidents like these, aviation technology company ARGUS Unmanned and aviation insurance provider United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) are partnering to offer an insurance policy for operators of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The policy will help customers comply with industry regulations and mitigate risk, as the potential for UAS technology to be integrated into carriers’ operations becomes a more tangible possibility.
News surrounding autonomous vehicles has been showing up more often in our feeds. For instance, Waymo’s new deal to integrate its self-driving trucks into Google’s Atlanta logistics network, or Airbus’ demonstration of its Skyways hexacopter drone at the Singapore Air Show last month. Unfortunately, it’s not just news of technological advancement that has the industry buzzing.
The details of why the accident with Uber’s Volvo XC90 utility vehicle occurred are still unclear and, unsurprisingly, Uber has been tight-lipped on the matter. Regardless, the story is a nightmare scenario for industry investors – a fear that this insurance policy is meant to mitigate.
“With the influx of unmanned aircraft systems, fostering an accessible safety culture for the UAS industry is critical,” said ARGUS CEO and Founder Joe Moeggenberg. “Through our partnership with USAIG, we are proud to offer UAS operators insured by USAIG the SMS tools, documentation and training and certification needed to create a strong safety foundation.