Public unprepared for 2023 self-driving

New research has revealed that fleet managers and business owners are not prepared for the government’s 2023 target to introduce self-driving cars to public roads.

The government is introducing legislation to accelerate the introduction of automated vehicles, but Venson suggests motorists are still sceptical about the technology. Only five per cent believed it to be perfectly acceptable for the pilot to be able to watch a film whilst on the road, just two per cent thought it was ‘okay’ to review and use social media, while nine per cent agreed with viewing content that is not related to driving.

Alison Bell, operations director for Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Whilst fully self-drive vehicles are not yet legal in the UK, some vehicles do have semi-autonomy with advanced driver assistance (ADS) technology. By law, drivers of these vehicles must be in control at all times, so it is vital they fully understand the functionality of the technology and what the vehicle is capable of doing before they take to the road.

“For businesses with company car and van fleets, as well as those allowing employees to use private cars for business use, it is imperative they ensure they update their HR and fleet policies to address rapidly changing laws. For example, drink driving after the staff Christmas party will be for most businesses a disciplinary offence but where will the self-drive laws stand on this in the future?

“Whilst it is hoped autonomous vehicle technology will improve road safety and business efficiencies, there is still a long way to go before its impact will be truly understood. Whatever the future holds, self-drive cars are a growing and changing sector, so it’s imperative fleet managers and business owners are on top of the latest developments and adapt policies accordingly.”