Only 1 in 4 trust driverless cars, suggests survey

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Motorists are not ready to take their hands off the wheel and surrender control to driverless cars, research by the AA suggests.

The British motoring association has found that while many people see the benefits, such as improved mobility for the elderly and disabled, the cultural attachment to cars is stronger than technology and the issue of trust in autonomous vehicles remains a concern.

Only a quarter of drivers (23%) in a poll of 21,039 people indicated they would trust a vehicle to drive itself while they were in it.

AA president Edmund King has warned that technological pioneers should not just make fully autonomous cars their utopia without bringing drivers with them on the journey.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the cultural importance of the car,” he said.

“We shouldn’t take a Luddite approach to new driverless car technology but must bring the consumers with us.

“Today, nearly two thirds (63%) would be lost without their car, more women (70%) say they would be lost without their car than men (59%) and two thirds still actually enjoy driving.

“Even with the projected growth of ride hailing, connected and driverless cars, almost half can never envisage a time when they might give up their car.”

Almost nine in 10 (87%) people expressed the most amount of concern over the possibility of situations coming up that were not anticipated by software programmers developing autonomous technology.

Autonomous car
(Niall Carson/PA)

However, motorists appear to be embracing some technological advances, with 59% saying they desired adaptive cruise control and 58% wanting advanced automatic emergency braking.

“The car has been pretty much the same for 100 years, but the next decade will see more change than in the previous 50 years,” Mr King said.

“There is no doubt technological advances can and will save lives and enhance mobility for the elderly, disabled and the young.

“The jury is still out on when, or if, the consumer will embrace the driverless car in the way they have grown to love driving their cars.”

Chris Price
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