Despite the cones, congestion and cost, two thirds of AA members still enjoy driving so much that they don’t particularly want a driverless car. An AA Cars report into the ‘State of the Nation’s Cars’ says that the younger ‘games console-generation’ drivers are most likely to want to experience driverless cars that are due to be tested on UK roads this year.
More than one in 10 (12%) of 23,450 AA members responding to an AA/Populus poll say they can’t wait to take their hands off the wheel of a driverless car. That sentiment rises to 16% for drivers in the 25-34 age group and 15% among 18-24 year olds.
Their grandparents share the older-generations’ 57% to 61% misgiving about the safety of driverless cars. Only 10% of pensioners, the lowest of any age group, are itching to give a driverless car a go.
However, when the drivers aged 65 years or more are offered the prospect of increased mobility, their strong resistance to this new technology softens with 13%, seeing an advantage in driverless cars.
Overall, despite this month’s Government announcement of trials this year, general acceptance of this new technology faces an uphill struggle. As David Bruce, director of AA Cars, said: “Cars are becoming more automated with the introduction of assistance systems to aid parking; keeping a safe distance from the car in front; or lane departure warning systems. However, there is a big leap of faith needed by drivers from embracing assistance systems to accepting the fully automated car. Two thirds of AA members still enjoy driving too much to want a fully automated car.”
Bruce concluded by suggesting that advanced technology could enhance the mobility of an ageing population which would add a certain appeal to older drivers. Currently TheAACars.com doesn’t stock any driverless cars “but we do have plenty that offer sophisticated assistance systems or you could use a chauffeur,” Bruce concluded.