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Richard Moulds

Autonomous Vehicles – Are European Drivers Ready To Go Driverless?

Driverless Autonomous Vehicles

Technology is progressing so fast that we are able to now do things that were never thought possible. We can step inside of our cars and relax while the car drives itself. These are called autonomous vehicles (AV’s), and are certainly the future.

One of the biggest tire manufacturers on the planet, Goodyear, decided they wanted to know more about this emerging industry. They decided to collaborate with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on a study. They study would find out European’s attitudes towards driverless cars via an online survey in 11 different countries and a focus group in 4 countries.

The results of the study seem to be largely mixed. One on side, respondents believed that AV’s would likely be safer and that accidents would be lowered because most are caused by human error. However, a majority of respondents said they wouldn’t be comfortable being driven around and would want to maintain some kind of control and would worry about the car malfunctioning. Overall, it seems like people can see the benefits of driverless cars, but simply don’t know enough about them or how they would work to feel totally comfortable with relinquishing all control to the AVs.

To the General Director of the Goodyear Innovation Center, Carlos Cipollitti, the results were not too surprising:

AVs are coming. Understanding how drivers experience the road today and how they feel AVs should fit in is crucial. Goodyear is exploring some of the key areas that are shaping the future of mobility. We hope that the insights generated by this research will help all relevant stakeholders to work together towards a successful introduction of AVs.

This study was a part of the ThinkGoodMobility platform that Goodyear has. This platform is looking to the future and analyzing the relationship between cars and their drivers. It also aims to look at smart and sustainable mobility. However, the existence of AV’s is more than just a new technology, as Dr. Chris Tennant of the LSE explains:

AVs are not simply another new technology. They are emerging in an intensely social space with a wide range of factors influencing the public’s levels of openness towards them.”

Driverless Autonomous Vehicles

(Infographic Source: Goodyear/Marketwired)

The 11 countries that were included in the study were: Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Serbia, France, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Of these countries, those from the Netherlands and Italy seemed the least concerned about the possible drawbacks of AVs, while those from the Czech Republic were the most concerns. Nations such as Poland and France were on the fence as they showed some belief in the technology, but also some concern as well.

By Kale Havervold

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