UK public still not confident in autonomous vehicles

It's a matter of principle.

The UK public wouldn't really feel comfortable driving alongside autonomous vehicles, a new study by Goodyear and the London School of Economics says. More than half (55 per cent) of UK drivers feel that way, compared to 39 per cent in 10 countries in Europe, also part of the survey. More than a quarter (28 per cent) would, on the other hand, feel comfortable, similar to the rest of Europe (30 per cent). 

The main concern is with security, followed by issues of principle. More than four fifths (83 per cent) of respondents fear 'autonomous cars could malfunction'. In other ten countries, 71 per cent of respondents had the same fears. Almost two thirds (64 per cent) think humans should be in control of their vehicles, and 78 per cent believe the car should have a wheel.  

“Our study explores how the road might evolve with the arrival of Autonomous Vehicles,” says Carlos Cipollitti, Director of the Goodyear Innovation Centre Luxembourg.  

"Enabling a "social interaction" between human drivers and AVs will be a crucial part of this process. As an active contributor to the debates on road safety and innovation, Goodyear is exploring some of the key areas that are shaping the future of mobility. We hope that the insights generated by this research will help all relevant stakeholders to work together towards a successful introduction of AVs.”

UK respondents are aware of the security advantages autonomous vehicles can bring, with 41 per cent agreeing “most accidents are caused by human error, so autonomous vehicles would be safer”. Less than a quarter (22 per cent) disagrees. Almost half (44 per cent) believe machines would be better drivers, as they have no emotions, and 65 per cent think machines don’t have the common sense to interact with human drivers. Ten per cent disagree.     

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