Fears Remain About Autonomous Driving

Fears Remain About Autonomous Driving

by Becky Harrison |
posted 08 July 2021

The UK public is still yet to be convinced of the prospect of fully autonomous vehicles, a recent CarGurus survey has revealed. While having a car drive itself is still out of many drivers comfort zones, automated technologies such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, that assist a driver in getting from A to B safely, are of significant interest to car buyers. 

Respondents were evenly spilt when it came to their overall opinion about the development of self-driving cars, with 30% considering themselves excited, 35% neutral and 36% concerned. This divide was echoed in the near fifty-fifty split in participants who felt the technology was still too new to place their faith in. 

The public’s mixed feelings toward automotive autonomy were decidedly less pronounced when the subject was broached in a more granular way, however. Despite just 22% of those surveyed saying they would appreciate a car that does the driving for them, participants claimed to be very or extremely interested in cars with automated driving assistance features such as automatic emergency braking (43%), lane keeping assist (36%) and automatic parking (48%). 

The safety benefits of such technology were also viewed with varying degrees of significance, depending on how the topic was approached. Just 29% of people reported being excited by self-driving cars making travel safer, compared to 68% of the same cohort who agreed that automated driver assistance features make travel by car safer. 

The reasons for this difference seemed to mirror recent media trends. News coverage of high-profile crashes (30%) was cited as a key reason that buyers do not trust self-driving capabilities, while longstanding debates around culpability in the event of an incident involving an AV were also shown to have permeated the public consciousness as 44% of participants said they would be concerned about who was responsible if something went wrong. 

When it came to how owners would use an autonomous vehicle if they had one, 49% of respondents said they would use an AV to take them home if they had been drinking or were too tired to drive (although this comes with its own risks), while 34% would allow their AV to handle the chore of parking. Just 26% said they would use an AV to carry out time-consuming tasks such as collecting groceries and packages, while only 21% said they would take advantage of the extra time freed up by not having to drive to increase their productivity. 



Becky Harrison
Becky Harrison

Becky is part of the marketing team here at Money4yourMotors. Becky oversees a wide range of marketing activities including social media and content creation.