Poll Highlights Public Scepticism Over Driverless Cars

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Most people would not be willing to travel in a driverless car, new research has confirmed.

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers carried out the latest poll, asking 2002 people how they feel about the concept of travelling in a driverless car.

The results showed that only 21% of people would be happy riding a driverless car, while 55% of those surveyed would not want to travel in one and 40% very unlikely to do so.

Advocates of driverless cars argue that they would result in improved productivity, increased trade and fewer accidents, saving approximately £51 billion per year.

The car industry is constantly trying to save lives through new technology and with stats showing that 95% of car accidents are caused by human error, the driverless car is an idea that is being given serious thought.

Among the companies championing the idea are Ford, Uber and Google but this latest poll has given them an indication of the current public backing they have for the idea.

Head of Transport and Manufacturing at the ImechE, Philippa Oldham, said that there is some way to go before convincing the public of the safety benefits of driverless cars.

She added that while public views may naturally alter as time goes on, the UK needs strong public support sooner rather than later if it is to lead the way in the technology.

Ms Oldham said that most cars have driverless technology already, such as automatic braking and parking assistance, so, she believes, the public may not be as averse to the idea as this latest research suggests.

She finished by saying that the automotive industry must now work in unison with the Government to make sure people have a better understanding of driverless car technology and the safety benefits it can offer, as well as showing them products that they want.

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