More than two-thirds of motorists (67%) are ready to start using self-driving cars, new research shows, in the same month that the UK’s first hands-free driving technology has been launched.
Following approval for Ford’s Mustang Mach-E to use BlueCruise driver assistance, May’s Startline Used Car Tracker reports that 43% say autonomous technology would make journeys more relaxing and 36% believe it wouldn’t be allowed on sale unless it was safe.
Furthermore, 27% say it would make motoring safer while 17% believe it would be reliable.
However, many drivers also have doubts – 23% don’t trust autonomous technology, 16% are more confident in their own driving, 11% believe it is likely to be expensive and 8% that it would be complex and probably break down frequently.
Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “We’re at an interesting moment when it comes to self-driving cars. The first driver assistance that allows you to take your hands off the wheel on motorways in the UK – Ford’s BlueCruise – has just gone on sale. However, there are many reports that full autonomy, where you’d get in the car and it would take you anywhere, is as far as away as ever.
“Despite that, it seems most drivers appear to be ready for this kind of technology because they think it would make their journeys easier and have confidence that it would only be allowed on sale if it was safe. They are potentially happy to give up the steering wheel and let the car take over.
“There is some scepticism. Almost one in four don’t think self-driving would be safe and, of course, anyone who spends time on social media will have seen pictures of accidents involving cars using self-driving tech. What is perhaps most surprising is that so few people – 16% – are confident that their driving would be better than any software.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 302 consumers and 59 dealers were questioned.