Attitudes to autonomous vehicles

Attitudes to autonomous vehicles

The introduction of fully autonomous vehicles will constitute perhaps the largest change to everyday transportation in living memory and is predicted to deliver a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits. However, the route to full automation is also likely to involve significant challenges, with public attitudes playing an important role in determining the level of success with which the technology is introduced. This report outlines the results of a survey of 233 people measuring current attitudes to autonomous vehicles.

Key findings

People’s overall openness to the idea of autonomous vehicles was very high, with 81% of respondents agreeing that 'driverless cars are a good idea' and only 1% disagreeing.

The general level of trust in autonomous vehicles was also fairly high, with 55% agreeing that 'I can trust a driverless vehicle', 23% ‘somewhat’ agreeing, and only 3% disagreeing. Qualitative comments suggested that people’s level of trust will depend on the specifics of each vehicle, with factors such as manufacturer, safety record and independent reviews likely to influence their judgements.

Further open comments highlighted a range of concerns. These include the security of the software, the safe functioning of the systems, particularly in the early phases of introduction, ethics and legislative issues. However, the comments also revealed high levels of excitement concerning the range of positive changes that the introduction of autonomous vehicles is likely to bring.

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