Motorists want to take control despite driverless cars

Driverless cars are coming but most motorists still want to be able to be in control.

Driverless cars are coming but most motorists still want to be able to be in control. - Credit: IAM

More than 65% of motorists want to retain the right to drive even though driverless cars are coming, two new pieces of research released have shown.

IAM RoadSmart – formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists – conducted an independent survey of 1,000 British motorists and a separate poll among its 92,000 members.

Those 65% of motorists believe that a human being should always be in control of the vehicle with 53% saying the focus should be on making drivers safer – not just cars.

Members of IAM RoadSmart welcome the hi-tech advances which are improving vehicle safety, but want to maintain their control of a car – even though autonomous technology will be able to do it for them.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive of IAM RoadSmart, said: 'Intelligent cars will deliver a step change in road safety by targeting the human errors we make from time-to-time. At IAM RoadSmart we believe a well-trained driver and an ever-vigilant car is a win-win scenario for the future.'


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The research comes as IAM RoadSmart celebrates 60 successful years improving driving and riding standards across the country and unveils a 'new name, new look and a new tone' to support 21st century road users for the next 60 years and beyond.

IAM RoadSmart is positioned to meet the needs of a new generation of drivers and riders. The change brings together the charity with its commercial subsidiaries – IAM Drive & Survive, Professional Driver Services and Driver Retraining Academy.

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The Opinium survey of motorists found:

65% thought that a human being should always be in charge of a vehicle.

20% thought that driverless cars were a 'good idea'.

34% thought that driverless cars were a 'bad idea'.

22% thought that driverless cars would 'be the norm on UK roads'.

52% thought that driverless cars would never be the norm on UK roads.

16% thought that driverless cars are an 'exciting prospect'.

When told that 95% of accidents were down to 'human error' and that there was 'a strong case for taking driver control out of the equation':

24% agreed with the proposition.

15% disagreed with the proposition.

60% said 'wait and see'.

When asked whether they would 'consider using a driverless car':

32% said yes they would.

38% said no they would not.

29% said that they were unsure.

In the poll conducted among IAM RoadSmart members:

87% thought that once driverless cars are readily available driving should not be banned by law.

92% would welcome automated systems that stopped tailgating.

What do you think about driverless cars? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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