Monday, 19 November 2012

Motorists dubious about driverless cars

Forty per cent of motorists would never consider using a driverless car, according to the IAM's latest poll. Furthermore, 65 per cent of people are sceptical as to whether or not driverless technology is actually a good idea.

Driverless cars rely on radars, GPS and satellites to drive and navigate without the need for a driver to take control. Google's driverless vehicle has so far driven a total of 300,000 miles without an accident. However, only one third of respondents agreed that this provides a strong argument that the removal of the human element from driving would benefit road safety.

The majority of motorists (815 of 1,088 respondents) believe that focus should be redirected from making cars better to making drivers themselves safer. Although, around half of respondents (500 of 1,088) feel that driverless cars are a good initiative for the future.

One aspect of advanced car technology is that vehicles would be unable to exceed the speed limit. Half of respondents think this is an attractive quality in the driverless car, while the remaining 50 per cent consider it strictly a disadvantage.

Other results show:

  • Half of motorists don't think that driverless cars will become popular.
  • 56 per cent do not think there is a possibility that driverless cars will be the norm within the next ten years.
  • 98 of 1,088 people think that driverless car technology is irresponsible.
  • 22 per cent of respondents would use a driverless car.
  • Over half of motorists think that automated systems should take control to prevent a crash.
  • 92 per cent of people like the fact that with driverless car technology, the car behind would not be allowed to drive too close to you. 

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "The presence of driverless technology in every car is still many years away. In the meantime, more should be done immediately to improve driver standards and deal with the most common human errors through better training, as well as incentives by the government and insurance companies.

"Of course technology has a huge role to play in road safety, but as long as there are cars on the road people will want to drive them. What we need to aim for is first class drivers operating first class vehicles."

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