Saturday 21 April 2018

Seven reasons why we Irish are still worried about self-driving cars

*Study highlights unease about yielding control
*But doubtful motorists see safety benefits too

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Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

WE Irish have some major reservations about self-driving cars, a new study reveals.

It shows there are seven things that people are worried about in particular.

However, there is a general welcome too for the perceived safety aspects of cars that do most of the driving.

One-in-four motorists said they had 'serious' concerns.

They revealed that the concept of self-driving cars 'scares' them.

The Continental Tyres survey showed that a smaller percentage (11pc) suggested we are becoming too reliant on technology.

Half the motorists surveyed said they would feel 'unsafe' in a self-driving car because they would not be 'in control' (they are really).

And more than one-third (36pc) were worried about the technology behind an autonomous driving car.

The research was carried out as part of Continental Tyres's 'Vision Zero' strategy.

It is a long-term plan to reduce accidents through tyre technologies and automotive systems.

Despite their deep-seated fears, many drivers saw the benefits autonomous driving can bring.

They instanced how it would give 'drivers' time to do productive work or relax. One-in-12 (8pc) held out the prospect that the technology could make a huge stride towards 'accident-free' driving.

However, one-third (35pc) remained unconvinced, if not downright cynical, about claims from automakers on the possibilities around autonomous driving.

They felt manufacturers have exaggerated what is possible, but admitted there is potential for significant safety and efficiency benefits.

Continental Tyres Ireland chief Tom Dennigan said: "Automated driving will surely be the biggest change to motoring over the next 20 years and it is clear from our survey that Irish motorists have some serious concerns in relation to this development."

But he said his company was "confident" that autonomous driving would "bring huge benefits for road safety" with vehicles able to interact with each other.

The challenge, he said, would be to replicate these advances and systems in developing countries.

Here are the top seven concerns/reactions that the study has discovered:

1. Feeling unsafe due to not being in control of the vehicle.

2. Issues with the technology, worries about breaking down.

3. Someone hacking into the system driving the car.

4. Driverless cars making ethical decisions - for example driving off the road to avoid a bigger accident.

5. Not being able to experience the physical act of driving.

6. Having motion sickness, due to not being in control of the car.

7. Worries there will be issues with the technology and not knowing how to fix it.

Irish Independent

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