We're constantly being told that autonomous cars are on the way, but just how ready for them are we?

Well, a new study of 3,000 UK residents by Neckermann Strategic Advisors has revealed that the human population still isn't quite ready to put its trust into self-driving cars.

The study, called Being Driven: A study on human adoption of autonomous vehicles shows that it could be a whole decade before the technology becomes accepted in everyday life, with three quarters of those involved with the study said that they are not comfortable with, or undecided, about future adoption of autonomous vehicles.

"The prospect of shared ownership – giving up what’s often seen as a mechanical member of extended family – and a skewed perception of what AV technology offers, is too much for a large majority of the UK to consider in one step," said Fergus McVey, CEO of 7th Sense Research UK whom the study was carried out in partnership with. "The industry needs to communicate the message that AVs are being developed to make your life better, not more complicated, less flexible or to jeopardise any sense of freedom."

Motorists resistant to autonomous cars

Lukas Neckermann, Managing Director of Neckermann Strategic Advisors and co-author of the study added: “Consumers need to be inspired by the benefits of AVs instead of being flummoxed by the technology. The promise of enhanced journey safety, convenience and dependability is much more compelling than endless discussions on the trolley-problem and number of miles driven in autonomous mode.”

The study also revealed that 60 percent of respondents would shun a subscription or car sharing model in favour of remaining with a private use, private ownership model even if the cars are autonomous – an idea that is at odds with the industry assumption that the future of the automotive industry would revolve around some sort of shared ownership model.

Autonomous car driving with woman driver reading book

"Globally, we’re becoming less resistant to change. Electricity and radio took 40 and 20 years respectively to cross the 80 percent penetration threshold, whereas smartphones and social media took under a decade," said Frederic John, co-author of the Neckermann. "However, these technologies did not replace items with an emotional attachment. Fax machines didn’t have nicknames, bring your first-born back from the hospital or go on family holidays. For consumers to detach themselves from this emotional connection in favour of the unknown, they first have to understand how AVs can enhance their travel experience."

"There’s an industry need to have a single, unified and strong voice to promote autonomous mobility technology towards the public and generate future end-user engagement. We look forward to engaging with partners from around the industry to build this strong community."

Gallery: Motorists resistant to autonomous cars