UK poll: Most drivers not keen on autonomous cars

UK poll: Most drivers not keen on autonomous cars

More than 70% of drivers in the UK would feel “unsafe” or “very unsafe” in a driverless car, according to a new poll.

The results of the survey, which was carried out by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, provides further evidence that, even if the technology is progressing, the general public is far from ready for driverless cars.

“It’s clear from the results of our survey that the motor industry has a big job ahead in convincing drivers of the safety virtues of self-driving vehicles,” Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said in a press release.

Many automotive companies now expect that it will take at least a decade for full, level 4 or 5 autonomy to arrive for vehicles on public roads.

Wolf-Henning Scheider, CEO of automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, told reporters last week that autonomous vehicles will first arrive in controlled enironments. Elsewhere, it may take at least a decade. “I don’t see full autonomous driving on public roads before 2030, and that is probably optimistic,” he said.

In the IAM survey, more than 90% of respondents said that, once vehicles can drive autonomously, a human driver should always be ready to take control when needed.

And 27% said they would be “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” using now relatively common advanced driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist and self parking.

The survey, which polled more than 1,600 UK drivers last month, also found that the industry isn’t providing enough information to convince the general public of the benefits of driverless cars.

“Some 44% of our respondents felt poorly or very poorly informed on autonomous vehicles with only 6% feeling very well informed,” said IAM’s Greig. “Car companies need to come together, alongside government, to ensure the facts out there are clearer and easy-to-understand.”

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