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Motorists fail to see benefits of autonomous technology

Mark Griffiths Continental Tyres

Motorists fail to see that automated and driverless vehicles will deliver promised benefits such as congestion, running costs and a reduced environmental impact, according to a new study.

Researchers for Continental Tyres asked 2,000 motorists about the benefits of automated driverless vehicles, the majority answered ‘none’.

Fears over the loss of personal control were cited by 44% of those asked, with concerns over driver reliance and laziness affecting 37%, and 36% revealing serious concerns over hacking.

Continental Tyres’ communications and automotive partnership manager, Mark Griffiths, said: “Drivers have to contend with immediate real world issues like congestion, the cost of motoring and environmental impact, and in some instances technologies being developed now are not being identified as a solution for those issues – yet they absolutely are.

“Future advances will transform motoring and technology businesses like ours need to explain how present challenges will be reduced or eliminated – like congestion, costs and environmental impact.

“The message from motorists is clear – talk less about ‘tomorrow’s world’ and more about real world benefits.”

When asked what issues should be prioritised by automotive and technology companies, half of road users agreed it should be improved road safety.

This was followed by almost 50% of people saying more economical vehicles using existing and new fuels and 47% saying less traffic on the roads.

Griffiths said: “It is the job of automotive technology manufacturers, like Continental, to inform drivers the immediate and near future gains from the exciting work being done. In the past the benefits from some advances have been self-evident, such as tyre pressure monitoring systems or anti-lock brakes.

“Road users today see safety as a top priority, and we strive to raise awareness about the importance of fundamental issues, such as tyre safety and tread depth.”

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