A survey shows 55% of Britons want to see a review of road-traffic laws in line with the rise of automated vehicles, with only 10% believing current regulations will stand.
The survey for fleet-management company Venson Automotive Solutions finds only 20% of people understand the true safety benefits of autonomous vehicles.
Some 53% believe the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ prediction that driverless technology could result in 25,000 fewer road accidents, saving 2,500 lives a year, in 2030 is too high. They say the total more likely would be half the SMMT prediction.
Asked who should be liable in the event of an accident involving a driverless car, 22% name the remote-vehicle operator, with only 12% saying the driver.
However, 44% say liability should be a combination of the driver, remote-vehicle operator, automaker and the software or hardware developer – highlighting their recognition of the complexities of automated vehicles and liability.
Simon Staton, director-client management for Venson, says it’s clear many people aren’t aware of the positive impact autonomous vehicles are expected to have on road safety in the U.K., even though 94% of road accidents are caused by human error.
Staton says automated vehicles equipped with a wide range of sensors won’t make human mistakes such as distracted driving and using mobile phones, “which could see road accidents fall significantly when this technology becomes mainstream.”
One thing people largely agree on is existing laws won’t be sufficient once automated vehicles are commonplace.