Driverless cars? Survey says ‘no thanks’

A new study from Churchill Car Insurance of over 2,000 UK adults reveals that the majority (56 per cent) say they would not purchase a driverless car and a quarter (25 per cent) believes that autonomous vehicles will not be safe.

Malfunction is the biggest fear, with three in five (60 per cent) of people fearing that the computer may be unreliable in their autonomous vehicle. Over half (56 per cent) fear the lack of human control over the vehicle and a third (32 per cent) fear cyber security issues such as hacking. Only eight per cent of respondents had no fears about self-driving cars.

Two in five (42 per cent) people believe that both carbon emissions and fuel consumption (41 per cent) will decrease with the introduction of driverless cars. Almost three in 10 (28 per cent) believe that both commuting times and breakdowns (31 per cent) will increase, with only 17 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, believing there will be a decrease.

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “Driverless cars have a long way to go before they win people’s confidence. Education on issues such as safety standards, including computer ethics, is needed, as well as a re-think on existing road rules and amendments to insurance regulation. It is still early days however, so a certain amount of scepticism around such a significant development is to be expected.  It is also still too early to be able to assess the implications a fully driverless car will have on insurance.”

One in four (27 per cent) UK adults would consider buying a self-driving car in the future. The financial tipping point for the average person is £19,000, with a quarter of people (25 per cent) willing to pay £30,000 or more for a self-driving car.

Of those willing to buy a driverless car, a third (32 per cent) would do so because it would mean more free time whilst travelling and a quarter (24 per cent) because they believe that everyone will have to purchase them in the future. One in seven people (13 per cent) would consider purchasing a driverless car because they do not like driving.

Driverless cars – UK survey results July 31, 2014
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