Misconceptions about driverless cars |Driving Test Success

Misconceptions about driverless cars

Google's self-driving car

Driverless cars are making headline news regularly, especially as the technology becomes more sophisticated and tests are carried out across the length and breadth of the UK.

What do you think of when you hear the words driverless cars? While for most it means total automation, the majority of new vehicles already have guiding systems for parking and lane assist systems, making driving more automated than we might think.

And while the idea of fully automated cars strikes fear into the hearts of many, there are no stopping technological advances, and it seems a certainty that we will be using driverless cars sooner than we think.

What a driverless car means

If fully autonomous cars are the future, we'll all need to understand just how much responsibility the driver has.

The Co-operative Insurance Group asked a selection of drivers aged 17-25 for their thoughts and expectations of driverless technology, with some surprising misconceptions:

  • 22% of those asked thought they'd be able to drink alcohol and drive in a driverless car.
  • 24% thought they'd be able to sleep behind the wheel.
  • 37% of those asked found driverless cars appealing.
  • 68% do not welcome the technology; fearing it will fail especially with traditional cars on the road alongside driverless cars.

One of the concerning aspects of the misconceptions around being able to sleep or drink alcohol in a driverless car is that the 'driver' always needs to be able to take over the controls at any point. 

As much as we think the technology is completely autonomous, a human's judgement of potentially dangerous situations is invaluable!

Reasons young people like the idea of driverless cars

The research also found;

  • 29% thought that human error would reduce
  • 28% believed you can get other things done 
  • 24% thought you can sleep on way to/from places
  • 24% liked that no manual driving would be involved
  • 24% liked that tyre pressure and windscreen washers will be automatically monitored 
  • 22% thought you can drink alcohol and drive 
  • 21% thought they could work in the car 
  • 19% thought they can finish getting ready on the way to places 
  • 17% liked that they could call/text people 
  • 11% like the concept because they don’t like driving at night 
  • 8% like the concept because they don’t think of themselves a very good driver
  • 4% want a driverless car because they've crashed before and don’t trust themselves 

driverless cars

The things that worry young drivers about driverless cars:

  • 68% thought the technology may fail 
  • 51% worry the technology isn’t proven
  • 43% believe driverless cars will cause accidents 
  • 40% don’t think it is safe 

What do you think? Are you excited or worried about driverless cars?

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