Third of adults doubt the switch to driverless cars Third of adults doubt the switch to driverless cars

Nearly a third of adults think the UK will never switch to having only driverless cars on the roads while 60% said they would always prefer to drive themselves rather than use a self-driving car.

A new opinion poll from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers found that the public remains wary of driverless technology with two thirds of people uncomfortable with the idea of travelling in an autonomous car, the same level as two years ago.

More people (32%) would like the vehicles to be restricted to no more than 30 mph, up from 27% in 2017.

The poll results outline the challenges car manufacturers and technology companies face in building public trust in autonomous driving systems, which was dented last year by news of the crash of a driverless Uber vehicle in Arizona which killed a pedestrian.

In its report on the survey, Public Perceptions: Driverless Cars, the Institution calls for more trials with autonomous vehicles sharing the roads so that people can see the cars in action and have a chance to ride in them.

“Consumer confidence is essential for autonomous technology to succeed, but that confidence has waned in the last two years,” IME Chief Executive Dr Colin Brown said.  “During that time, there have been very few controlled trials on our roads to allow people to experience the vehicles at first hand.  The Government has plans for trials of self-driving cars on roads in Edinburgh and London by 2021, but we would like to see more taking place in other locations in the UK.”