A significant majority of British motorists don’t want to share the road with self-driving cars because they don't feel they can trust interaction with a robotised vehicle.
Of the motorists researched by the London School of Economics (LSE), 55% said they would be uncomfortable driving alongside an autonomous car, compared with 28% who said they would be comfortable and 14% of people who were ‘neither comfortable nor uncomfortable’.
Chris Tennant, a behavioural scientist at the LSE, said: "People are very reluctant about autonomous car technology, and the trust partly comes down to the lack of social interaction possible with a self-driven car."
Three main areas of distrust emerged in the research: technical malfunction, that a human should always be in control of the car and that machines don’t have the common sense required to interact with human drivers.
In fact, 68% believed that humans should be in control of their car at all times.
"Drivers have a strong feeling that there will be no social connection to the other car and that brings mistrust," said Tennant.
People were also asked to look at to a traffic situation where an autonomous car needed to pull out from behind a truck, and they thought the flow of cars would be difficult for the car to judge.