Trust in Automation (consumer study)

Organisation: Thatcham Research

Date of Publication: November 2022

Uploaded to Knowledge Centre: 8 February 2023

This consumer study reveals that just over half of UK drivers (52%) mistakenly believe that they can buy a fully autonomous car today.

UK roads will potentially see vehicles with ‘self-driving capability’ by 2025, according to a recent Government announcement. 

However, the first iterations of the technology, known as ALKS (Automated Lane Keeping Systems) can only be activated on motorways with the driver needing to resume control as required.

The false impression regarding the current availability of self-driving technology was found to be more prevalent in younger age groups (77% of 17–24-year-olds) than it was amongst those aged 55+ years (41%).

In addition, the survey finds that 73% of UK motorists recognise the benefits of emerging automated driving technology.

When asked what they consider the key benefits of the technology to be, the most popular option was improving safety by removing human error (21%), followed by improving mobility for the elderly and disabled (14%) and reducing pollution through fewer traffic jams and unnecessary acceleration/deceleration (8%).

Very few drivers saw freeing up time to work (3%), entertain themselves (3%) or sleep (2%) as advantages of vehicle automation.

Click on the link below to read a summary of the study’s findings: