Six in 10 drivers scared of autonomous vehicles – survey

A survey showed 62% of motorists fear the prospect of autonomous cars on the road.

A survey showed 62% of motorists fear the prospect of autonomous cars on the road. - Credit: PA

More than six in every 10 UK motorists are afraid of driverless cars, according to the RAC.

While carrying out research for its annual Report on Motoring, the organisation found that 62% of respondents were scared by the thought of autonomous cars being on the roads.

And two out of three (66%) of the 1,714 British drivers quizzed were also concerned about the chances of driverless vehicles being hacked, while 70% have fears about the reliability of the software used in the vehicles.

But only 27% believe that autonomous cars will make the roads safer.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: 'There is quite a high level of concern about driverless cars being on the roads – 62% of motorists say they are scared by the prospect.

'This just shows what needs to be done in terms of changing people's views, but it is worth pointing out that few people have qualms about jumping on a plane, which is flown – at least part of the way – autonomously.'

The news from the RAC study wasn't entirely bad for pro-autonomy campaigners, however, as 62% agreed that the cars would improve mobility for the elderly and disabled people.

Most Read

And a third (34%) of those questioned also said they expected fully driverless cars to be available to buy in the 2020s.

Meanwhile, a fifth of respondents (21%) thought driverless cars would outnumber conventional vehicles by 2040.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter