Driverless cars

Xbox generation drivers are most likely to take a shine to driverless cars

Xbox generation drivers are most likely to take a shine to driverless cars

Xbox generation drivers are most likely to take a shine to driverless cars

Games console-generation drivers are most likely to want to experience driverless cars that are due to be tested on UK roads this year, according to the latest AA Cars report into the ‘State of the Nation’s Cars’.

Overall only around one in 10 (12%) of 23,450 AA members responding to an AA-Populus poll* said they can’t wait to take their hands off the wheel of a driverless car,  but that sentiment rises to 16% for drivers in the 25-34 age group and 15% among 18-24 year olds.

Green light for driverless cars

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced two new measures that will see driverless cars on UK roads from January 2015.

  • UK cities can bid for a share of a £10m competition to host driverless cars trials with up to three cities being selected to host trials lasting up to three years and starting in January 2015.
  • There is to be a review of current road regulations to ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing both cars with a qualified driver who can take over control of the driverless car and fully autonomous vehicles where there is no driver.

Edmund King, AA president said: "Today’s announcement takes us closer to seeing fully autonomous vehicles on our roads but it will take some time for them to become commonplace.  Many drivers are still resistant to change as 65% enjoy driving too much to ever want the vehicle to take over from them.

"Our survey also found that 43% of members did not agree that UK legislation should be amended to even allow trials of the technology."

(30 July 2014)

Increased mobility

However, when drivers aged 65 years or more are offered the prospect of increased mobility, their strong resistance to this new technology softens markedly - 13%, the highest of any age group, then sees an advantage in driverless cars.

Overall though, general acceptance of this new technology faces an uphill struggle.

Survey results

In the survey, conducted 11-17 June 2013, respondents were asked to consider how strongly they agreed or disagreed with a number of statements about driverless cars:

"I think advances in science and technology will allow driverless cars to be as safe as human drivers"

  • Agree 38% (10% strongly, 28% somewhat)
  • Disagree 37% (16% strongly, 21% somewhat)

"Driverless cars may be suitable for use in other countries (e.g. USA) but they're not suitable for use on our roads"

  • Agree 38% (15% strongly, 23% somewhat)
  • Disagree 30% (11% strongly, 18% somewhat)

"Driverless cars would have to be segregated and used only on dedicated roads/lanes"

  • Agree 57% (26% strongly, 32% somewhat)
  • Disagree 17% (7% strongly, 11% somewhat)

"I wouldn't trust manufacturer/government assurances that driverless cars were safe"

  • Agree 56% (25% strongly, 31% somewhat)
  • Disagree 21% (6% strongly, 15% somewhat)

"I enjoy driving too much to ever want a driverless car"

  • Agree 65% (37% strongly, 28% somewhat)
  • Disagree 15% (5% strongly, 10% somewhat)

"Driverless cars would increase my mobility"

  • Agree 10% (2% strongly, 8% somewhat)
  • Disagree 55% (36% strongly, 19% somewhat)

There is a big leap of faith needed by drivers from embracing assistance systems to accepting the fully automated car

David Bruce, director of AA Cars

Comment

David Bruce, director of AA Cars, says: “Cars are becoming more automated with the introduction of assistance systems to aid parking; keeping a safe distance from the car in front; or lane departure warning systems. However, there is a big leap of faith needed by drivers from embracing assistance systems to accepting the fully automated car. Two thirds of AA members still enjoy driving too much to want a fully automated car.

“The fact that advanced technology could enhance the mobility of an ageing generation adds a certain appeal to older drivers if it will keep them driving longer. Technology is not a prison. We must embrace technology as ultimately it will make our cars safer. Currently we have no driverless cars at TheAACars.com but we do have plenty that offer sophisticated assistance systems.”


(Published 2 August 2013, last updated 30 July 2014)

* Populus received 23,450 responses from AA members to its online poll between 11and 17 June 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.