Source: Intelligent Instructor
Driverless cars don’t build confidence
Safety concerns over driverless and self-driving cars
British motorists don’t feel confident about the prospect of driverless vehicles.
Just one in 20 drivers (6%) say they would feel safe. Almost a third (31%) would only trust a driverless car if they could take over the controls, according to new research .
The Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap, comes as the government announced new legislation to advance the introduction of autonomous vehicles on our roads.
Furthermore, a quarter (28%) of drivers think cars have too much technology in them, rising to a third (33%) of over 55s, compared to a fifth (20%) of under 34s.
Similarly, more than a third (35%) enjoy driving and do not want a driverless car (38% men and 32% women), rising to 42% of over 55s.
Only one in ten (10%) would consider buying a driverless car in the future (12% men and 8% women), rising to 14% of under 34s.
The government has allocated £100 million to deliver its autonomous ambitions, with £34m confirmed for research to support safety developments and inform more detailed legislation.
“While only one in ten drivers in our survey felt driverless cars are a ‘great invention’ there are undoubtedly benefits,” says Ben Wooltorton, from InsuretheGap.com. He cites vehicles always following the speed limits, which “should reduce car accidents”.
Education and training
With various lower levels of automation entering vehicle cockpits already, road safety and driver training professionals are already calling for more additional driver training. This is particularly important for fleet drivers who cover high mileage rates and are involved in more incidents on the road. It is increasingly important employees fully understand how to utilise and maximise the functions and benefits of semi-autonomous vehicles.
Separate research by Venson Automotive Solutions revealed motorists are generally sceptical about the safety of self-driving technology, particularly the risks associated with distracting the vehicle’s pilot.
Only 5% believed it to be perfectly acceptable for the pilot to be able to watch a film while on the road. Just 2% thought it was ‘okay’ to review and use social media, though 9% agreed with viewing content that is not related to driving.
A slippery road
Alison Bell, operations director for Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Whilst fully self-drive vehicles are not yet legal in the UK, some vehicles do have semi-autonomy with advanced driver assistance (ADS) technology.
“By law, drivers of these vehicles must be in control at all times, so it is vital they fully understand the functionality of the technology and what the vehicle is capable of doing before they take to the road.
“Whilst it is hoped autonomous vehicle technology will improve road safety and business efficiencies, there is still a long way to go before its impact will be truly understood.
“Whatever the future holds, self-drive cars are a growing and changing sector, so it’s imperative fleet managers and business owners are on top of the latest developments and adapt policies accordingly.”