Almost three-quarters of British adults would not feel safe travelling in a driverless car, according to new research. A study of 1,000 people found 73 percent felt autonomous vehicles are not safe, and a third (33 percent) of those quizzed said they would never trust the technology to convey them from A to B.
The survey carried out by leasing firm Vanarama also revealed nine in 10 drivers (89 percent) think the roads of the UK are simply not ready for autonomous vehicles. And a similar proportion (87 percent) said they would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school without supervision from a human driver.
Vanarama’s research shows the scale of concern about autonomous vehicles, with 79 percent of motorists claiming they could identify and react to hazards more quickly than a car’s on-board computers. As a result, 95 percent of respondents said driverless cars should allow the driver the option of taking over from the computers. However, nine percent think that should only be allowed in emergencies.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, therefore, that seven in 10 drivers (71 percent) said they would ignore cars’ autonomous capabilities, preferring to take control for themselves. Just one in 10 (10 percent) said they would let the car do the driving, while the remaining 19 percent said they would prefer to combine the two, depending on the situation.
A large proportion of motorists said they would like to see autonomous vehicles fitted with speed limiters when the vehicle is in control. Fewer than one in five respondents (17 percent) said they would be happy for driverless cars to convey them at speeds of up to 70 mph, while more than half (55 percent) said they wanted to see vehicles limited to just 30 mph.
Yet the research suggests it will still take time for drivers to build any trust in autonomous vehicles, with 15 percent of respondents saying the vehicles would have to be on the road for at least 10 years before they were trusted. However, a quarter of respondents said trust would take between one and four years to build – but a third said they would never trust the technology.
“In order for driverless cars to be widely adopted in the UK and other nations once they arrive in car showrooms, there needs to be trust in the technology that powers them,” said a Vanarama statement. “It will be an extremely strange sensation allowing the car to drive for you after driving yourself your entire life and to do this motorists must be certain of the car's capabilities.”