IAM finds 60% feel self-driving cars a ‘serious threat to road safety’

A Study by IAM RoadSmart has found that 60 per cent of road users consider self-driving cars a serious threat to road safety

self driving cars

A study carried out by one of the UK’s biggest road safety charities has found that a vast majority of road users feel that self-driving or autonomous vehicles are a threat to safety.

The IAM RoadSmart survey found that 60 per cent of road users felt so strongly about the matter that they described the autonomous tech as a ‘serious threat’ to their safety.

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Both female road users (66 per cent) and older road users over the age of 70 (64 percent) had even higher concerns again.

And those drivers’ concerns could be raised even further in the coming years, with government predictions suggesting that in less than 15-years, 40 per cent of all new cars sold will have some form of self-driving capability.

As with any argument, there is always another side to the story though. Some advocates of self-driving cars suggest that they could actually improve road safety. Evidence does suggest that human error is a leading cause of most road traffic incidents, giving more control to computers could actually reduce collisions.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of Policy & Research, said: “Autonomous and automated vehicle technology is becoming an integral part of everyday motoring and while it does have the capacity to improve road safety, its capabilities must be fully understood to ensure we don’t over rely on them.

“Over-reliance on these systems, and a lack of training on how to use them, could have a negative effect, with potentially worrying results for motorists and pedestrians alike.

To try and help drivers to understand the limitations of the systems that are featured on their specific vehicle.

“As an ever-increasing number of vehicle systems take on the tasks that drivers used to perform, IAM RoadSmart is calling for an understanding of automated features to be included in the UK driving test.” he continued.

Meanwhile, advocates for a push towards autonomous vehicle technology also highlight the financial benefits to the UK economy, possibly almost worth £42 billion by 2035 together with the creation of nearly 40,000 British jobs.

How do you feel about driverless and autonomous cars on the UK’s roads, friend of foe?