herald

Friday 21 September 2018

Nearly 40pc of motorists 'would not trust' a driverless car

Dr John McCarthy with the RSA’s Liz O’Donnell and Moyagh
Murdock, and Dr Oliver Carsten in a semi-autonomous Volvo
Dr John McCarthy with the RSA’s Liz O’Donnell and Moyagh Murdock, and Dr Oliver Carsten in a semi-autonomous Volvo

Not all Irish motorists are ready for self-driving cars, new research shows.

According to a survey, 39pc of drivers said they would not trust them.

However, 40pc said they believed driverless cars were a good idea, a figure that rose to 54pc among under-25s.

The main perceived benefit of such cars is easier and safer driving.

Nearly 40pc of motorists believe self-driving cars will be on Irish roads 10 years from now.

The survey found that 26pc of adults expressed strong interest in owning a driverless car, though the figure declined significantly with age.

More than 40pc of those interested in owning a self-driving car said such vehicles would lead to fewer road deaths and injuries.

More than half said they would use the time "behind the wheel" to use their phones, read or watch TV. Twelve per cent said they would sleep.

Challenging

The study, conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes, was presented at yesterday's annual international conference of the Road Safety Authority.

"The transition period to self-driving vehicles needs to be carefully planned and managed as this is likely to be the most challenging part of adopting this technology in Ireland," said chairperson Liz O'Donnell.

"It is critical that Ireland has the right national regulatory framework in place to ensure the safe roll-out of these self-driving vehicles across the nation.

"For example, Irish road traffic laws will need to be updated to adapt to the new and emerging technologies."

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