Half of UK Drivers Think they are Better than AI Powered Robots

UK drivers remain suspicious about automated driving with nearly half thinking they are better drivers than robots.

This was among the findings of a survey run by Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) that also suggests that nearly a quarter predict driverless cars will be on public highways within five to 10 years. The research revealed that 46% of British motorists think they’d be a better driver than driverless cars powered by artificial intelligence.

Regionally, it was the Scots who are Britain’s most confident drivers with 54% answering that they’d trust their own driving skills over driverless vehicles. Generationally, 52% of 18- to 24-year-olds believe in their driving abilities most whereas just 39% of the over 75s think they’d be a better driver than a driverless car.

Of those surveyed, 24% think the first fully driverless car will be available to consumers in the near future, while 8% think they’ll never hit the mass market. Just 4% of respondents felt that a fully driverless car will be available to consumers within the next 12 months.

However, opposition to the technology is still strong with 21% saying they’re likely to buy a driverless car if and when they become available. Men are significantly more keen than women with 29% saying they would be likely to purchase a driverless car versus just 13% of women.

Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK said: “I think our study offers a fascinating insight into the collective psyche of British motorists as it confirms that we’re a proud nation of drivers and that we’re very confident in our own driving abilities. It speaks volumes that so many of us would rather be in control behind the wheel as opposed to being chauffeured by highly sophisticated technology. Of course, the road to full autonomy will not be without its challenges – which goes some way to explaining the slight apprehension towards driverless vehicles uncovered in our research – but if self-driving technology continues to develop at its current pace, fully driverless cars could be here much sooner than we think.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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