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Drivers still sceptical about autonomous vehicles

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Motoring group the RAC has highlighted what it terms ‘widespread scepticism’ over autonomous cars after a survey showed that just 5% of drivers think the Government should be prioritising support for their development.

Research conducted with over 2000 members of the group’s Opinion Panel indicates that four in 10 motorists would prefer to see investment redirected to improving the existing road infrastructure.

The same number expect there to be fewer than one million driverless vehicles on the UK’s roads within 20 years while just 12% are optimistic that the million mark will be reached over this period.

Motorists polled also identified their biggest fears about driverless cars with the most prominent being the reliability of the software controlling autonomous vehicles. Almost half of respondents highlighted this as their top concern.

Meanwhile 27% put the thought of losing personal control over their vehicles at the top of the list and a further 10% ranked the fear of cyber attacks leading to remote theft or corruption of data as their biggest concern.

“There is clearly some widespread scepticism about the technology becoming prevalent and some concerns over reliability which are no doubt based on motorists’ everyday experiences of computers and the lack of resilience of the software they use,” commented RAC chief engineer David Bizley.

Also this week a new report has revealed which companies, according to UK investors, are currently the leading players in the autonomous vehicles market. The report is based on a survey conducted by law firm Gowling WLG and economic research agency Explain the Market.

Tesla topped the charts when it comes to investor confidence in autonomous vehicle manufacturers, closely followed by BMW and then Audi and Toyota.

Investors ranked Google as the IT business with the highest potential for success in the market while Microsoft also performed well and the likes of Uber and Apple lagged behind.

The survey also reveals Bosch to be the most investible technology brand in the autonomous vehicle tech sector, followed by Tata Elixsi and Delphi.

Photo by Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons