Research suggests not...

Research commissioned for Auto Trader has revealed that the UK is a nation of car owners, and they intend to stay that way. Of the UK motorists surveyed, 45 percent claim to have no interest in fully-autonomous cars, saying they enjoy driving too much to find the prospect of a driverless car appealing, with 49 percent of the same group claiming to know too little about the technology to even gauge their level of interest.

The survey of more than 5,500 UK motorists also revealed that more than 85 percent of licence holders own at least one car and 81 percent of car owners today are committed to owning cars throughout their lifetime. 73 percent of owners agree that independence is their biggest motivation for car ownership, a third also say it’s all about their ‘enjoyment of driving’ – with some motorists expressing concern that their cherished relationship with the car is threatened by a driverless future.

Crucially, of the 21 percent of drivers who owned up to knowing something about driverless cars, awareness levels dropped significantly with older motorists – with 81 percent of over 55s admitting they aren’t clear on what the term means.

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Carmakers won’t be impressed by the views of the usually most tech-savvy age group, the 17-44 year olds, as 44 percent of this demographic predicted that fully-autonomous cars would not be available in their lifetime, highlighting a large proportion of motorists who share a lack of confidence in the technology, as well as the UK’s ability to deliver it anytime soon.

All is not lost on the technology front, though. Highlighting a shift in car buyer desirability for alternative fuel types, Auto Trader saw a 58 percent rise in searches for electric vehicles in 2016, with hybrid vehicle advert views also growing by 52 percent. In contrast, searches for diesel vehicles fell by 14 percent last year, chiming with the 6.8 percent decline reported in diesel car sales for December 2016 on the same month in 2015.

Source: Auto Trader

Gallery: Driverless cars