Driverless cars could have a ‘negative impact’ – ‘worrying results’ for road users

Driverless cars: Oxbotica trials autonomous tech in London

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Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart has warned an “over-reliance” on the tools among drivers could come with risks. In particular, he has warned the new technology could have “worrying results” for drivers and pedestrians.

It comes after a new poll found the majority of drivers are not ready to adopt the new technology.

Research from IAM RoadSmart in their annual Safety Culture Report found a surge in discontent among road users.

A massive 59 percent agree the growing ability for cars to drive themselves is a “serious risk” to personal safety.

The poll found women were particularly concerned with 67 percent of respondents saying autonomous tools were a threat.

Mr Greig said: “Perhaps due to misinformation and an overabundance of technical jargon, the public still remains to be fully convinced new technology which in theory has the potential to reduce many collisions on Britain’s roads, saving thousands of deaths and injuries.

“In order for this trust to be gained, we recommend that proper education of automated technology is included in the UK driving test, giving motorists the opportunity to learn about how it works, which will at least go some way towards alleviating the anxieties many understandably have at present.

“Equally, drivers must also recognise that an over-reliance on these systems could also have a negative impact on road safety, with potentially worrying results for motorists and pedestrians alike.”

IAM RoadSmart warns their call for more education comes after the UK’s desire to grow driverless vehicles in the coming years.

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The Department for Transport has already warned drivers could see new Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) tools on UK roads by 2021.

The tool can take over control of the vehicle at low speeds and keep it in lane on motorways.

Fresh predictions from experts warn at least one in 10 vehicles will be at least partially autonomous by 2030.

Mr Greig added: “With Britain being the first to support the roll-out of autonomous vehicles on public roads, as well as the growth of the industry, it is surely only a matter of time before autonomous vehicles become a very common sight on Britain’s roads.

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