Thatcham Research is launching findings from its Trust in Automation consumer study which has revealed that just over half of UK drivers think that they can buy a fully autonomous car today.
This is despite the fact that only Assisted Driving systems, which require driver support, are currently available in the UK.
“Realising the government’s stated safety ambition for Automated vehicles is dependent on driver education,” comments Matthew Avery, chief strategic research officer, Thatcham Research. “This can’t just be lip service. With more than half of the UK public believing that Autonomous driving is here today, the perception is racing ahead of the reality.
“This demonstrates just how much work needs to be done to set realistic consumer expectations of the first vehicles offering limited self-driving functionality, when they do become available. Put simply, the benefits of Automation will not be delivered if people don’t fully understand its limitations.”
UK roads will potentially see vehicles with ‘self-driving capability’ by 2025, according to a recent Government announcement. However, the first iterations of the technology, known as Automated Lane Keeping Systems can only be activated on motorways with the driver needing to resume control as required.
The false impression regarding the current availability of self-driving technology was found to be more prevalent in younger age groups (77% of 17–24-year-olds) than it was amongst those aged 55+ (41%).