Nearly half of British motorists think they are better drivers than an autonomous cars, according to new research. A study of more than 2,000 Brits by Volkswagen Financial Services UK found 46 percent of respondents said they would be a better driver than driverless cars powered by artificial intelligence.
Scots are the most confident in their abilities, with 54 percent of respondents north of the border claiming they would trust their own driving skills over a driverless vehicle. For those in northern England, that fell to 48 percent, then to 47 percent in the south-east of England. Just four in 10 drivers in Wales and the south-west of England (40 percent) said they would be better drivers than an autonomous vehicle.
And as well as being split geographically, there was also a divide between different age groups. More than half (52 percent) of those aged between 18 and 24 said they would be more competent than a self-driving car, compared with just 39 percent of over-75s.
However, the research found only around a quarter of Brits (24 percent) believe a fully driverless car will be available to UK consumers in five to 10 years. Just four percent think a fully autonomous vehicle will be offered to the public in the next 12 months, while a less optimistic eight percent of drivers believe they will never hit the mass market.
If and when fully driverless vehicles do arrive on UK roads, just one in five (21 percent) of those questioned said they would be likely to buy an autonomous car. And men are significantly more likely than women to go driverless, with 29 percent of men claiming they would take the plunge, compared with 13 percent of women.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger people are also more likely to choose a driverless vehicle, with half of 25-24-year-olds saying they would buy one. In contrast, just five percent of drivers aged 55 to 64 years old made the same assertion.
“I think our study offers a fascinating insight into the collective psyche of British motorists as it confirms that we’re a proud nation of drivers and that we’re very confident in our own driving abilities,” said Mike Todd, the CEO of Volkswagen Financial Services UK.
“It speaks volumes that so many of us would rather be in control behind the wheel as opposed to being chauffeured by highly sophisticated technology. Of course, the road to full autonomy will not be without its challenges – which goes some way to explaining the slight apprehension towards driverless vehicles uncovered in our research – but if self-driving technology continues to develop at its current pace, fully driverless cars could be here much sooner than we think.”