Reinsurer Swiss Re is to provide risk management expertise and insurance products for Chinese tech giant Baidu’s autonomous driving businesses.

“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,” Swiss Re said in a statement.

Autonomous driving poses new challenges to the insurance industry, including rapid technological upgrades, increasingly diversified risks and limitation of data availability. This partnership will develop insurance solutions covering the entire value chain of autonomous driving, including the selection of risk factors, product pricing, claims and underwriting data standards.

Andrea Keller, Head of Automotive & Mobility Solutions at Swiss Re, 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.“

As a leading global reinsurer, Swiss Re says it has a long history of making forward-looking investments in risk expertise of autonomous driving. Russell Higginbotham, CEO Reinsurance Asia & Regional President Asia, adds, “Our partnership with Baidu is a milestone in Swiss Re’s efforts to access new risk pools and close the protection gap through Swiss Re’s risk management expertise and innovation capabilities. By combining our respective risk knowledge and insights, we hope to jointly explore and develop innovative products and solutions.”

The first focus of this partnership is the launch of autonomous valet parking insurance for an automated valet parking service developed by Baidu Apollo. Future collaboration between Swiss Re and Baidu will cover risk management research and insurance innovation for autonomous driving computing platforms, intelligent cockpits, driverless taxis and other automated driving products.