Our daily lives have become increasingly centred around gadgets and that’s no different when we get in the car, where we’re surrounded by all kinds of fancy new features and systems. This will only continue to be the case with the fast-approaching arrival of the self-driving car.
Technology’s increasing influence on the automotive industry means that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are expected to transform the lives of six in ten Brits when they hit showrooms over the next ten to 15 years.
This is according to new research published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which found that self-driving cars will offer freedom to some of society’s most disadvantaged people, including those with disabilities, older people and the young.
Of the 3,600-plus respondents included in the survey, 57 per cent believed the new technology would improve their quality of life, even more so amongst those aged between 17 and 24 (71 per cent).
Almost half (49 per cent) of young people questioned said they would get into a self-driving car today if they were available.
The biggest attraction of owning a CAV from all respondents was the car’s potential to reduce stress, with features such as automatic braking and parking and self-diagnosed faults all predicted to ease the hassle of motoring.
Freedom to travel spontaneously and socialise with friends and family were seen as life-changing benefits, with 88 per cent of people believing CAVs will improve their social life, saying a CAV would help them get out of the house more regularly.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said the research suggested that the bulk of Brits believed connected and autonomous vehicles would unlock greater independence, make them more sociable, work and earn more and access services more easily.
“While fully autonomous cars will be a step change for society, this report shows people are already seeing their benefits,” he comments.
“The challenge now is to create the conditions that will allow this technology to thrive, given how it will deliver wider societal advantages.”
Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: “Cars that can drive themselves without the intervention of a human driver aren’t expected to reach British roads until 2020 at the very earliest. That clearly hasn’t stopped people from getting very excited about them though.”
Posted on 31st March 2017
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