The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) says the results of a new survey indicate that the public feel that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will help ‘deliver a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits’.
In the ‘Attitudes to AVs’ survey, produced by TRL in conjunction with Royal Holloway University, 81% of respondents were receptive to the concept of AVs on the UK’s roads.
In addition, the levels of trust in AVs among the people surveyed was also shown to be fairly high, with 55% of respondents agreeing they would trust them and 23% saying they ‘somewhat’ agreed they would trust an AV to safely deliver them to their destination.
While TRL acknowledges that the survey was small in size (233 participants), it describes the results as ‘pleasing’.
TRL is at the forefront of the drive towards smart mobility with a current portfolio of connected and automated vehicle projects – including GATEway, MOVE_UK, Driven and Streetwise – worth in excess of £50m.
On Tuesday (8 August), it was announced that the next phase of the GATEway project – an open public trial of driverless pods – will get underway this autumn.
Alan Stevens, TRL’s chief scientist and research director, transportation, said: “While this survey looks at a relatively small and self-selecting sample of people, it is pleasing to see that so many of them were open to using an autonomous vehicle.
“Of course, there were also concerns expressed around certain parameters of an AV’s operation, namely the security of the software and what data the vehicle would store.
“However, these are issues that we are already beginning to address, with work taking place on various projects and trials.”
The online survey was run in conjunction with Royal Holloway as part of a larger project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
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8 August 2017
Category: Autonomous vehicles.