Budget 2015: ‘Cash for driverless cars welcome but more education needed’
In his final Budget statement before May’s general election, George Osborne today announced an extra £100m “to stay ahead in the race to driverless technology” within the UK.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology welcomed the news but also suggested that further investment is needed to shift public opinion and understanding of driverless cars.
An IET survey of 2,023 adults found that demand for driverless cars is most likely to come from men and those in London.
But even then public acceptance is not high as the survey shows that just a quarter of men (25 per cent) would definitely consider using a driverless car, while only 16 per cent of women would do so.
Over 45s are the least likely to embrace driverless cars (42% of 45-54s and 42% of 55-75s), which is concerning given that the older generation stand to benefit more in terms of increased mobility.
People in London are the most likely to be interested in driverless cars (25% would definitely consider one), compared to 18% in the Midlands.
Sahar Danesh from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “Driverless vehicles have huge potential to transform the UK’s transport network but there is clearly a lot to do before people are won over.
“The survey shows that younger drivers are the most undecided about driverless cars. So there is a great opportunity here to educate this age group about the benefits and potential offered by this new technology.
“The benefits of driverless cars are improved road safety, reduced congestion and lower emissions.
“Wider public acceptance and trust are crucial, particularly for the older generation, who stand to benefit hugely with increased mobility, so the trials that started earlier this year must get to grips with the best ways to win over everyone – from car manufacturers to consumers – to the benefits of driverless cars.”
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