UK drivers remain cautious towards autonomous vehicles

Posted on 11 Jan 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Despite the reported benefits of self-driving vehicles, safety, technology and trust are major worries, according to new research for Continental Tyres.

The study found that the majority of UK motorists (60%) currently worry about the safety of a fully autonomous vehicle.

080116 Continental technology - dynamic electronic horizon
Despite concerns, the 2,000 people surveyed did express what they consider to be major advantages of driverless vehicles.

More than half (51%) are also concerned that technology failing would result in the vehicle breaking down, while 40% simply mistrust the concept of a self-driving car. A fifth of motorists went so far as to say that the concept scared them.

Despite concerns, the 2,000 people surveyed did express what they consider to be major advantages of driverless vehicles; with the possibility of safer roads, more efficient and reduced journey times, and having to concentrate less as coming out on top.

Yet, when asked about their view on the prospects of autonomous vehicles, 25% believe that motoring and technology companies could exaggerate what is possible.

Safety spokesman for Continental Tyres, Mark Griffiths commented: “Safety is of utmost importance at Continental when it comes to any of our products or automotive technologies, and it is clear from this research that UK motorists identify with safety as a significant trust factor.

“There are very exciting times ahead with the advent of automated technology, though with any advance comes concerns. As a leading automotive business, we play an important role in educating people about safety, right across the vehicle from our automotive systems to our premium tyre ranges.”

The results were released as the CES (the Consumer Technology Show) 2016 drew to a close where connected cars have been among one of the hot topics.

The advantages of autonomous driving as identified by UK motorists in the study were:

  1. Road safety
  2. More efficient / reduced journey times
  3. Less concentration required
  4. Reduced insurance costs (through fewer accidents)
  5. Opportunity to use mobile
  6. Increased mobility for non-drivers
  7. Opportunity to eat in the car
  8. Opportunity to read in the car
  9. More productive use of time
  10. Opportunity to use tablet/laptop