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Tesla’s Use of Camera Footage, GPS for Insurance Services Depends On Driver’s Approval

Tesla’s use of individual customer records, such as car camera footage and GPS, to price its new insurance services will depend on drivers’ permission, and individual U.S. state laws, a senior firm executive stated Wednesday.

Tesla last week said it was launching an insurance service designed to give drivers in California, its largest market, lower rates due to safety features on its electric cars.

The corporate didn’t name an insurance companion; however, the California Division of Insurance website confirmed Tesla was licensed as a dealer to conduct business on behalf of the State National Insurance Firm, a subsidiary of Markel.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been one of the strongest advocates of the concept that car insurance rates ought to plunge as driver-assist and self-driving technology become standard.

The U.S. insurers say they currently don’t have enough records to validate auto sector promises of safety advantages from automated driving programs, citing auto manufacturer’s reluctance to offer detailed information on models sold with those options, a lack of uniform standards, drivers’ unpredictable use of the systems and higher fixture costs.

Tesla is one of the few manufacturers whose automobiles are largely standard-equipped with advanced driver assistance options, along with cameras monitoring lane-keeping and recording car surroundings.

California regulatory insurance filings in May stated Tesla’s insurance coverage might use “direct data feeds with customer approval.”

However, Tesla’s insurance website states it makes use of “anonymized, aggregate records” to inform insurance rates, adding that it doesn’t presently use data from individual automobiles, such as GPS or video footage.

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