Are Driverless Cars the Future?

Last week, Google unveiled their driverless car – a car without steering, without peddles, and seemingly just a passenger car. We asked our panel of UK consumers what they thought of the concept of a driverless car, whether it is something they would consider driving or even purchasing in the future.

“It’s always been the vision of the future” 

The idea of a driverless car has been something speculated for years, although a number of our panel were reminded of classic sci-fi film scenes where robots are completely in control and turn evil. Although this may seem a slight exaggeration of Google’s latest innovation, the idea definitely didn’t settle well with a number of our panel.

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Although a number of the pro’s to a driverless car were commented on; from the concept of removing human error, as a computer would have a much quicker reaction time, leading to a decrease in road accidents. Others saw the driverless car as an opportunity to give people who may be housebound or have mobility problems a chance at independence, that they can safely travel by themselves.

Some of the panel mentioned being able to travel for longer, or get work done while travelling as there was no need for hours of concentration from a driver – that computers can simply keep going.

However, the majority of our panel were not in favour of being driven around by a driverless car, that it was quite a scary thought to not be completely in control. Many questioned how reliable and safe the technology is, that they would not be likely to have a go in a driverless car until they had been tested to an incredibly high safety standard.

Others felt it took away the need for a key skill like driving. Nikki, from Norwich, said “I quite like driving” – which seemed to be a running theme that many of our panel liked driving and being in control of a car, that they would not like to be replaced.

Many felt that the attached cost to a driverless car would not be worthwhile, until the technology is widely available on a mass market scale – that in comparison to the cost of a driver controlled car, it would not be worth switching.

Overall, it was clear our panel will not be early adopters of a driverless car.