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Britain’s motorists not optimistic when it comes to autonomous vehicles

14 November 2019

By Highways England

Britain’s motorists not optimistic when it comes to autonomous vehicles

​More than half (55 per cent) of motorists think driverless cars will only be in used in 10 or more years’ time, despite tests having already begun on UK roads.

Britain’s motorists are highly sceptical over the future use of driverless cars according to new research by Compare the Market.

In its Road Ahead research series looking at the future of driving, it was found that only 55 per cent of people expect driverless cars to be in use in the next 10 years.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 British motorists, 80 per cent are worried about the safety of driverless cars. This concern follows extensive discussion about the suitability of driverless cars, which can be susceptible to cyber hacking and crashes, on UK roads.

Recently, a government-backed consortium announced that it was beginning its first tests of driverless cars carrying passengers on the UK’s roads for the first time.

Beyond the issue of safety, drivers question the wider benefits of the introduction of driverless cars. Only one third (35 per cent) think driverless cars would result in safer roads, while only a quarter (24 per cent) believe that the technology would result in reduced insurance costs.

The research follows previous analysis by in January 2018 which found that 61 per cent of people would never buy driverless cars while 63 per cent said that they were bad for society.

Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at Compare the Market, said: “While driverless car technology continues to progress quickly, manufacturers have a big job to do convincing the world that they are safe. There have been a number of high-profile incidents showing flaws in their security – such as when academic researchers hacked into a Jeep and remotely controlled its electronic control system – and last year saw the first ever fatal crash involving a driverless car. Driving has never been a completely safe endeavour but handing control over to a machine seems like a step too far for many motorists currently.”

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