A large number of British people have told pollsters they’re not looking to relinquish their driving duties any time soon.
A survey for Volkswagen Financial Services has found that just under half of of those surveyed (46%) would prefer to drive themselves rather than rely on self-driving technology.
VWFS says it commissioned the survey to discover what the nation really thinks about driverless cars after the Department for Transport announced that self-driving vehicles could be allowed on UK roads by the end of 2021 – with automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) the first type of hands-free driving legalised.
Its report says Scottish people “are Britain’s most confident drivers”, with 54% of Scots saying they’d trust their own driving skills over driverless vehicles.
People living in northern England are the second most likely group to back their motoring prowess over driverless cars (48%), followed by people in the South East (47%) and respondents in the Midlands (46%).
However, just four in ten people (40%) in Wales and the South West feel they’d be better drivers than driverless cars.
Generationally, 18-24 year olds believe in their driving abilities most (52%) whereas just 39% of over 75s think they’d be a better driver than a driverless car.
Researchers also found that almost a quarter of Brits (24%) think the first fully driverless car will be available to consumers in five to ten years, whilst 8% think they’ll never hit the mass market 4% of respondents even felt that a fully driverless car will be available to consumers within the next 12 months.
And many people are not completely convinced by the idea of a driverless car, with only one in five (21%) saying they’re likely to buy a driverless car if and when they become available.
However, men are significantly more likely than women to answer that they would be likely to purchase a driverless car (29% versus 13%).
Younger people also indicated a greater likelihood to purchase a driverless car. Respondents aged between 25 and 34 years old are ten times as likely to buy a driverless car than people aged 55 to 64 years old (50% versus 5%).
Most people who are interested in driverless cars say they would expect to spend their time listening to music (44%) whilst behind the wheel, but 22% of people would still be focusing on the road.
Other popular activities envisaged by this group included watching TV or a film (25%), reading (25%), sleeping (20%) and checking emails (17%).
(Picture – WMG)