Following a BBC report on the government’s plans to have driverless cars in operation in the UK by 2020, car dealership Citygate found out how Brits feel about autonomous cars. 10,000 UK drivers were asked what circumstances they would use a driverless car – and the results have revealed that pioneers of this new automotive tech may still require some convincing before mass adoption. Long-distance travel took the top spot, with 34% of respondants saying they’d welcome a break from driving over a lengthy journey.
29% of all survey participants admitted they’d be most interested in using a driverless car while under the influence. 38% of men between the age of 35-44 said they’d like to use a driverless car for trips to the pub. Almost a third of respondents said they’d happily hand over the morning commute to the car.
Driving in the dark
A quarter of all respondents, and as many as 40% of people surveyed living in the South West of England, said they’d be most likely to rely on a driverless car after dark.
22% said driving during social outings may be another chore Brits would be happy to hand over to driverless vehicles. Over 65s were keen to hand over their keys, as 35% said they’d use self-driving cars for social calls and 30% revealed they’d rather not drive at night.
However, just 15% of respondants said they’d be happy to put the lives of their children in the hands of their driverless car, suggesting our trust in these autonomous vehicles may expire when it comes to our children’s safety. Scottish respondents were even less willing to relinquish control – with just 7% of parents entertaining the idea of using driverless cars for school drop-offs. From the results it appears that the idea of personal transport or occasions when there is only one person in the driverless car is acceptable for autnomous driving, while the addition of additional souls makes it more difficult for people to accept.
6% of all participants revealed they wouldn’t use a driverless car under any circumstances, indicating that further technological development and research will be required before people agree to let go of the wheel.
Which of the following would you use driverless cars for?
- Long-distance travel: 34.3%
- When you’re under the influence: 28.8%
- Commuting to work: 26.5%
- Night driving: 24.3%
- Social driving: 21.8%
- The school run: 14.8%
- I wouldn’t use one: 6.0%