New research reveals that over half of UK citizens (57%) would not feel safe riding in a self-driving vehicle.
The UK government has stated its vision to have driverless cars on UK roads by 2021 but nearly a quarter of the UK public (23%) said they feel apprehensive about the prospect of self-driving cars on the roads in the next three years, while a fifth of respondents (20%) felt fearful. Only 12% were either excited or optimistic.
In the research, 16% of the UK public said they would feel safe riding in a self-driving, closely followed by other concerns such as:
- The safety of the passengers (51%)
- A rise in in, potentially fatal, accidents (49%)
- Connectivity failures (35%)
- Cyber-attacks and hacks on personal data (29%)
According to the research:
“In comparison, nearly two thirds of respondents (65%) said they feel safe when flying on-board an aeroplane. Pilots undergo rigorous testing and training, with the use of simulation, to ensure flight safety – a role that Thales has long-standing heritage in.”
Dr Alvin Wilby, Thales VP of Research, Innovation and Technology at Thales UK said:
“For the government’s 2021 vision to become a reality, autonomous cars must not only ‘be’ safe, but also be perceived as safe by the public.
By using synthetic environment technologies – currently used for full flight simulators in aerospace and vehicle simulators – we are able to subject autonomous driving systems to a huge numbers of scenarios, to gain confidence in their safety. We, essentially, subject AVs to a much more rigorous “driving test” than we do with human drivers.
If successful, this work will lay the foundations for the development and certification of all types of unmanned vehicles – in any situation and every environment.”
Professor Paul Jennings, lead for Intelligent Vehicle research at WMG, University of Warwick commented in a release:
“There is potentially a lot that can be learned from other sectors when it comes to certifying the safety of AVs. For example, by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to run simulations of real-life scenarios, we might learn more quickly how driverless cars will operate across the UK’s challenging urban and rural road networks, and to ensure that they safely interact with other road users.”