Survey: UK drivers still harbour reservations about autonomous vehicles

A survey of 2,000 people carried out for Continental Tyres suggests that three in five UK motorists currently worry about the safety of fully autonomous vehicles. Reporting the findings of this survey, Continental also shares that 51 per cent of respondents expressed concerns that failures in the technology would result in the vehicle breaking down, while 40 per cent simply mistrust the concept of a self-driving car. A fifth of the surveyed motorists even said the concept scares them.

The research for Continental Tyres took place as part of the company’s ‘Vision Zero’ commitment, which aims to eliminate road accidents through innovative tyre technologies and automotive systems. Despite concerns, the 2,000 people surveyed did express what they consider to be major advantages of driverless vehicles; the top being the possibility of safer roads, more efficient and reduced journey times, and having to concentrate less. Yet, when asked about their view on the prospects of autonomous vehicles, a quarter said they believe believe motoring and technology companies could exaggerate what is possible.

“With our award-winning summer and winter tyre ranges, safety is of utmost importance at Continental when it comes to any of our products or automotive technologies, and it is clear from this research that UK motorists identify with safety as a significant trust factor,” commented Mark Griffiths, safety spokesman for Continental Tyres. “There are very exciting times ahead with the advent of automated technology, though with any advance comes concerns. As a leading automotive business we play an important role in educating people about safety, right across the vehicle from our automotive systems to our premium tyre ranges.”

The results were released just before the end of CES (the Consumer Technology Show). Continental notes that while connected cars have been one of the hot topics at this year’s show, just five years ago no automotive brands were even present there.

The top ten list of advantages of autonomous driving as identified by UK motorists in the study:

Road safety
More efficient / reduced journey times
Less concentration required
Reduced insurance costs (through fewer accidents)
Opportunity to use mobile
Increased mobility for non-drivers
Opportunity to eat in the car
Opportunity to read in the car
More productive use of time
Opportunity to use tablet/laptop


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