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Seven in 10 drivers wouldn’t feel safe in an autonomous car, research suggests

Seven in 10 drivers wouldn’t feel safe in an autonomous car, research suggests


Autonomous cars are one of the hottest topics in the industry at the moment — but as many as seven in 10 of us could be scared of being in one.

A survey by road safety charity IAM Roadsmart of 1,663 drivers found 70 per cent said they would feel either ‘unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ as a passenger in a driverless car — with just four per cent saying they would feel ‘very safe’.

Further still, 75 per cent disagreed with the statement that such vehicles should ‘always be in ultimate control’ — with 40 per cent going as far as to say they’re strongly against it. Over 90 per cent of respondents are said to have agreed that a human driver should always have the ability to take control.

When asked if they agreed ‘all human drivers should be banned from driving on the roads once fully autonomous vehicles are widely available’, 82 per cent disagreed.

A noticeable portion of drivers seem to be apprehensive about current assistance technology, let alone fully autonomous vehicles. When asked if they would be ‘comfortable using current technology features on many cars such as adaptive cruise control, lane-assist and self-parking’, 27 per cent say they would not be.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “It’s clear from the results of our survey that the motor industry has a big job ahead in convincing drivers of the safety virtues of self-driving vehicles. While on paper they offer significant advantages in eliminating human error from collisions, there is a lot of confusion, misinformation and an over-abundance of terminology which has made the public distrustful of it.”