Would you buy a driverless car? No, say 66% of Brits

Driverless cars are set to appear on roads from January 2015, but 66 per cent of people are not inclined to buy one, according to a survey from Contract Hire a Car.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 19.8 per cent said they were "not sure" if they would buy one, while only 14.2 per cent said that they would buy one.

Men were most likely to get behind the driverless car with 22 per cent saying they would consider purchasing one compared to just 10.8 per cent of women.

The 18-24 year old age bracket was found to be the least likely to dismiss driverless cars entirely, as 53 per cent said they wouldn’t buy one, 25.6 per cent said they were unsure and 20.9 per cent said they would.

However, the 35-44 age bracket was the most likely to actually purchase a vehicle with 30.2 per cent of respondents saying "yes". Over half (54.6 per cent) said no and 15.3 per cent of respondents in that age group said they were unsure.

Google has been leading advances in the sector and has developed a prototype car as well as collaborating with Toyota, Audi and Lexus on introducing its technology to market. The likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and General Motors have all been developing their own systems

Professor Dr. Ralf G. Herrtwich, director driver assistance and chassis systems, at Mercedes-Benz said that the company is “convinced” that autonomous driving makes travelling by car safer.

He added: “Despite legal questions which also need to be resolved, it is clear that the social acceptance are decisive factors for the introduction of autonomous vehicles. Customer acceptance of the autonomous driving function is closely linked to the degree of reliability and availability of the system. And this is a focal point of all our development work in this area.”

Government ministers are expected to approve the technology later today with a formal amendment to the Highway Code.

Currently, driverless vehicles are only allowed on private roads but the government is backing a £10m initiative to transform one UK town or city into a dedicated test area for the cars.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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