Meet the Pittsburgh startup that’s gearing up to insure driverless cars

As self-driving car companies continue to develop the fledgling technology, a local startup is already selling insurance to the industry. North Side-based Koop says it’s cracked the code for how to underwrite the autonomous vehicle sector, despite its short track record.

Driverless tech still must undergo years of research and development before reaching consumers. Locally-based Argo AI began to test robotaxis in Miami in December and launched a second pilot in Austin last week. Aurora Innovation, also headquartered in Pittsburgh, runs self-driving trucks in Texas.

Koop uses data from such test fleets to set prices for coverage. It’s preparing for a future where increased automation could shift crash liability from human motorists to manufacturers.

Koop co-founder and head of operations Jim Duan said the startup is helping to fill a critical gap.