Little love for safety systems

More than 60% of drivers want technology to prevent other motorists from breaking the law, but many do not want the same technology to control their vehicles.

Researchers spoke with 2,000 UK motorists for Continental Tyres as part of its Vision Zero, a commitment to reduce traffic fatalities worldwide through driver education, premium tyres and automotive systems.

It revealed a general mistrust in the software being installed into cars to improve safety, claiming that improved behaviour from other drivers would be a more effective way to reduce road accidents. For example, despite the proven benefits of Autonomous Emergency Braking, nearly twice as many motorists don’t trust it as those that do.

In fact, three quarters of those surveyed said they didn’t trust the new automotive driving systems.

The research found that the number one view of automated driving is that it is scary. Those surveyed also thought it was encouraging people to rely on technology and become lazy, that it brought too many risks, such as hacking, and that its benefits were exaggerated.

Respondents also said they’d miss the experience of driving.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said, ‘Our research found that motorists are yet to be convinced of the value of greater automation – like reduced congestion, improved road safety and cleaner motoring.

‘The more that automotive and technology businesses can do to educate road users of the benefits to our everyday lives, and as they begin to experience new vehicle technology, the more people are likely to trust greater automation as they would traditional car features like seatbelts and tyres.

‘As a safety focused brand, we recognise it is the responsibility of technology businesses, like Continental, to communicate the very positive benefits that can be delivered. Not doing this effectively is undermining people’s trust in automotive technology.’