U.K. drivers don’t want driverless cars, but legislation is coming

A new survey suggests that consumers in the United Kingdom do not want to see driverless vehicles on their roads, although legislation on the matter could be approved in just a few years.

That is according to car insurance quote company Quotezone.co.uk, which asked car insurance customers whether they would like to purchase a driverless vehicle. Eighty-seven per cent said they would not.

“Our research showed a (categorical) rejection of driverless cars on the basis of safety and driver enjoyment,” said Helen Rolph, a car insurance comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk, in a statement.

The survey is based on a random sample of 1,000 drivers in the U.K. with a car insurance policy. According to the company, fully self-driving vehicles are currently banned on U.K. roads, “but legislation to approve the technology could be only two years away.”

Rolph said that while Jesse Norman, the U.K. Transport Minister, “could be right” that it is only a matter of time before consumers adapt to the idea of “giving up control over their own safety,” drivers “don’t want to give up the feeling of driving a car themselves.”

She said that drivers love their vehicles, an affection she suggested comes from being behind the wheel and being in control of the car rather than “sitting back while being taken from place to place.”

“Our results are perhaps a reflection of the speed of change and people’s reticence to give up something they love doing so soon,” said Rolph in a statement. “Legislation to approve the technology could come as early as 2025, making driverless cars a reality in just two years’ time.”

She added that safety concerns could diminish over time, but the real question is whether drivers “will ever get over giving up something they love.”

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