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USwitch survey highlights public scepticism of driverless cars

A survey of motorists conducted by USwitch has found that close to half, 48.5 per cent, would be unhappy at the prospect of being a passenger in a driverless car, despite government enthusiasm for the technology.

Of 953 people polled 43 per cent said they would not trust a driverless vehicle on public roads, with 27.5 per cent concerned at the safety of fellow drivers and 15.8 per cent worried about pedestrians and cyclists.

Far from being positive about the potential safety advantages 35 per cent of respondents voiced concern that their insurance premiums might be upped, indeed when asked ‘How does it make you feel that autonomous vehicles will soon be on British roads?’ 15.5% answered ‘Horrified – cars should only be driven by humans.’

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com commented: “We are closer than ever to driverless cars joining traditional vehicles on British roads, but motorists still have many questions and concerns that the Government has yet to address. Our research shows that almost half of consumers are unwilling to be a passenger in a car without a driver. In fact a significant proportion are actually horrified by the idea of autonomous vehicles.

“If driverless technology is to receive the widespread public support it deserves, it is vital that the Government and the insurance industry clarify the issues of liability and insurance premiums over the coming months. With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant but the public needs more clarity.”

The survey comes amidst growing calls for government to take a more proactive stance.

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