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Autonomous cars driving confusion in minds of UK citizens


Research from enterprise information management firm, OpenText, reveals confusion around the extent to which the UK public believe driverless cars will infiltrate their daily lives in the coming years.

The survey of 2,000 UK respondents has highlighted a mixture of inevitability and wariness when it comes to embracing the trend enabled by AI technology.

While 60% of UK citizens think there will be a time when driverless/autonomous cars outnumber crewed vehicles, over half (52%) of respondents would never consider buying a driverless car or renting one on a per-use basis, even if they were priced similarly to a ‘normal’ car.

A loss in confidence?

A third (31%) of UK citizens think there will be more driverless/autonomous cars on the road than ‘normal’ cars in the next 10 to 15 years. However, when OpenText ran a similar survey in 2017, nearly twice as many people (66%) thought this would be the case.

In 2017, 24% said they would feel comfortable being a passenger in a driverless/autonomous car, yet this figure has dropped to 19% when the survey ran this year.

Moreover, only 23% of UK citizens responding to the 2018 survey think the ability of driverless/autonomous vehicles to obey all traffic rules will improve road safety, down from 42% in 2017. Today, only one in ten (10%) think this technology will make roads safer (but only on UK motorways).

Key considerations

Commenting on the findings, Mark Bridger, SVP of OpenText UK said: “The results of this research highlight that we’re very much in an era of transition for automotive vehicles. The mix of confusion, fear, optimism and inevitability in the minds of UK citizens shows that whereas some AI-enabled technologies have moved seamlessly into our lives, more game-changing offerings like autonomous vehicles will take time to be embraced.”

“AI will enable automakers to analyse, adapt, and suggest solutions based on data. As autonomous vehicles become more common, the data they produce will become a new, powerful asset for organisations.”

“Yet car companies need to ensure they are doing more than delivering the most innovative connected technology. Addressing consumer concerns and loss of confidence will be critical for success and take up too. They need to ensure the technology is safe and reliable in order to install the level of trust needed for mass adoption.”


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