Millions of motorists are against the introduction of driverless cars because they fear they will crash – and could be too easily hacked. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.
Research reveals 44 per cent of drivers are against the space age vehicles hitting the nation’s highways. Almost three-quarters fear a malfunction and a similar amount say they don’t trust a computer to keep other road-users safe. Over half are anxious the vehicles could be remotely hacked and 53 per cent worried they are more likely to crash.
But despite widespread apprehension, further analysis shows many can see positives in the introduction of autonomous vehicles. The majority of motorists believe the driverless car revolution will be a good excuse to get sociable and chat with fellow passengers. And two in five reckon they would use the time to catch up with friends or colleagues on the phone.
But, when it comes to insuring a driverless car, over two in five believe their insurance premiums could sky-rocket, despite the technology’s potential to eliminate human error. Simon McCulloch, of comparethemarket.com, commented: “A major point of concern for motorists is how the arrival of self-driving cars will affect their insurance policies, which is why we created our newly designed driverless car quote journey. By seeing how a future policy might work, we hope we can help the debate on what the future could hold for personal transportation and how this could impact insurance policies.”
Working with Professor Neville Stanton, expert on human engineering, the comparison site has ‘future-gazed’ to see how completing a quote might look when buying car insurance in the future. ‘The quote journey’ is designed to help customers better understand the concept of driverless cars, while also preparing them for when they’re introduced to UK roads.
Professor Stanton, who is Chair of Human Factors Engineering at the University of Southampton, says: “It naturally takes a while to adjust to new technologies and advancements that may be a little out of our comfort zone. We hope the unique quote journey helps customers, as well as provides some light entertainment and excitement at what’s potentially to come.”
The boffin concluded: “Technologies, such as contactless cards, online shopping, and the introduction of apps, have not always been met with positivity, so it will be interesting to see how opinions evolve once driverless cars are out on British roads.”