Brits are Ambivalent About Driverless Cars, Says Survey

By Tom Pritchard on at

Are driverless cars the future? Some people agree, some do not. That's according to a survey UK Autodrive consortium, which claims only a third of people would use a self-driving car. Another third would not, while the opinions of the final third seem to be missing. I can only assume they're either not sure, or waiting to see how much promise the tech has for the general population.

The study was conducted by researchers from Cambridge University's Engineering and Psychology departments, and consisted of 49 questions about driverless car technology and some of the future developments it might see. That includes 'level 5 autonomy' which is 100 per cent driver-free and requires zero human intervention to get you where you need to go.

Three quarters of the respondents had heard of self-driving cars, while only 34 per cent had heard of automatic lane-keeping systems. In response to the level of control they'd like to have over the car, 85 per cent expressed a desire to retain some control, with 74 per cent wanting to retain the ability to drive the car manually.

The researchers noted that there seem to be an implication of 'everyone else except me', "a response which suggests an element of uncertainty, or lack of trust, in the new technology." The Register notes that this is contrary to other studies, which have noted curiosity as the driving response to driverless tech.

So there's still some work to be done before people fully get behind the concept self-driving vehicle, but since we're still quite early days there's plenty of time to build up some trust with the non-techy car-riding public. [The Register]

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