Road Safety News
 

Autonomous vehicle concerns highlighted

Thursday 15th January 2015

Almost half of the population (48%) would be unwilling to be a passenger in an autonomous vehicle, according to a survey carried out by the comparison website uSwitch.com.

In the survey of almost 1,000 consumers, 43% said they wouldn’t trust a car to drive safely without a driver and 16% were ‘horrified’ by the idea.

92% said they feel ‘in the dark’ about driverless car trials that are scheduled to begin later this month, while just 6% believe the Government is running sufficient tests. And 35% expect the introduction of driverless cars to drive up insurance premiums.

The survey also revealed what uSwitch.com describes as “widespread confusion” about who would pay in the event of the crash involving a driverless car. Almost a third (30%) believed that joint responsibility would lie between the ‘driver’ of the autonomous car and the third party involved in the collision, while a quarter (26%) placed the blame solely on the autonomous car manufacturer. 18% held the person at the wheel of the autonomous car accountable for the accident.

Despite these reservations, the survey showed some support for driverless cars. 19% think the introduction of autonomous vehicles could help solve hold-ups and traffic jams and 18% are excited about the technology.

Rod Jones, from uSwitch.com, said: “We may be years away from driverless cars outnumbering traditional vehicles on British roads, but it’s clear motorists are already questioning the impact they will have on their lives.

“With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant and they should have a positive impact on car insurance premiums.

“However, confusion is still widespread and it will be vital for the Government and the insurance industry to clarify the issue of liability over the coming months if driverless technology is to receive the widespread public support it deserves.”

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As en electronic engineer who spent all but the first two years of his career involved in the remote control of moving objects, I consider it inconceivable that IT people will ever be able to write software capable of interpreting information from a wide variety of sensors in all weather conditions, and acting on it, with fewer errors and crashes than human drivers.

And please don't argue that they already do so in aircraft - that is a completely different environment in terms of distance from other objects and response times. In the air coming within 1/2 a mile is a near-miss, on the road coming within 2 feet on opposing lanes is routine.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

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