Driverless cars are just four years away from UK road use, but Brits still have significant concerns

Driverless cars are set to roll out on UK roads by 2021, with plans in motion to change UK insurance in response.

However, despite this many British people remain concerned about their use, with just below half – 46% – saying that they wouldn’t feel comfortable to be a passenger in a self-driving vehicle, according to the results of a survey by OpenText.

The survey, which asked 2,000 UK consumers for their views on the emerging technology, found that despite this, the majority expected driverless cars to be very widespread in the near future. 66% of those surveyed said they expected there to be more autonomous vehicles than conventional cars on UK roads within 15 years.

Automakers such as Mercedes are banking heavily on driverless cars. Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Despite the reluctance to get in a driverless vehicle, many Brits feel that they will make roads safer.

42% said that they thought such vehicles would improve overall road safety, while just over a quarter – 27% – said that they thought that the fact that such cars would always obey traffic rules would drive such safety.

An additional 10% thought that driverless cars would provide some safety boosts, but only on motorways.

“We are on the cusp of self-driving cars becoming a reality and, in the next couple of years, the automotive industry will be transformed beyond recognition,” said Mark Bridger, vice president of sales, Northern Europe, at OpenText.

“The technological advances in AI will led to a growing level of trust amongst British citizens when it comes to autonomous vehicles, particularly in regards to improving road safety.”

Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

While UK consumers are increasingly positive about the safety benefits of driverless vehicles, the reluctance by many to get in one suggests that far more needs to be done by the automotive industry to ensure that confidence grows.

For OpenText, safety is going to be at the heart of this.

“In this hyper-connected world, car companies, therefore, need to ensure they are not only delivering the most innovative connected technology, but that this technology is also safe and reliable in order to install the level of trust needed for mass adoption,” said Bridger.

“AI will enable automakers to analyse, adapt, and suggest solutions based on data, bringing the world of driverless cars closer to reality.”

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