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Survey finds scepticism over driverless car switch

Date: 27 September 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Nearly a third of UK adults think the country's roads will never switch to being for driverless cars only, according to a poll for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The survey also found that 60% of people would always prefer to drive themselves rather than use a self-driving vehicle, while two-thirds said they would be uncomfortable travelling in an autonomous car.

The survey also found that 32% of people would like self-driving cars to be restricted to a maximum speed of 30mph - up from 27% when the same question was asked two years ago.

In response, the Institution says more trials with autonomous vehicles should be carried out on the roads, so people can see the cars in action and have a chance to ride in them.

Institution chief executive Dr Colin Brown said: "Consumer confidence is essential for autonomous technology to succeed, but if anything, that confidence has waned in the last two years. During that time, there have been very few controlled trials on our roads to allow people to experience the vehicles at first hand.

"As engineers, we remain convinced of the need to explore the potential advantages the technology offers.

"The government has plans for trials of self-driving cars on roads in Edinburgh and London by 2021, but we would like to see more taking place in other locations in the UK."