Watching TV and internet browsing also rated highly among the list of things to do while the car is driving, according to a recent study by What Car?

One in four drivers (26%) would be happy to sleep while being driven by a car with autonomous technology, according to new research from our sibling brand What Car?.

Talking to fellow passengers, browsing the internet and watching TV were also high up the list of chosen activities while in a self-driving car.

However, the study also showed continuing reservations about autonomous cars with 51% of drivers saying they would feel "unsafe or very unsafe" behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

The survey is bolstered by another study conducted by IAM Roadsmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists), which revealed that 65% of motorists want to keep the right to drive, even when autonomous cars are the norm.

Of those surveyed, 34% think driverless cars are a "bad idea", and only 20% welcomed them.

More than half (52%) of the IAM sample expressed the view that autonomous cars would never be the norm on UK roads. A driving-focused theme emerged in its results, as 87% believed that driving should not be outlawed once autonomous cars became the norm. Meanwhile, 30% of What Car?’s respondents were concerned about losing the enjoyment of driving.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently claimed that Tesla owners were more receptive to autonomous technology. Musk also hinted at the development of an autonomous public transport system.

More than half of new cars sold already have autonomous safety technology on-board and several manufacturers, including Ford and BMW, are working on driverless vehicles. Earlier this year Nissan and Renault also stated their aim to get at least 10 fully autonomous cars on the road by 2020.

Our Verdict

Volvo XC90
The new Volvo XC90 costs from £45,750

It has big boots to fill and talented rivals to face. Is it up to the task?

Join the debate

Comments
9

2 May 2016
As I cycled around a mini-roundabout this morning, a driver entered the roundabout from the opposite direction. I saw him look straight at me, yet he still carried on without even as much as braking, and through some bloody miracle I managed to avoid his 4x4.

autocar wrote:

One in four drivers (26%) would be happy to sleep while being driven by a car with autonomous technology

Yeh, and one in four drivers are happy to sleep driving a car without autonomous technology. If his BMW did have eyes, I hope it would have stopped.

2 May 2016
If I was to jump in front of an autonomous vehicle and got injured, who is to blame liability-wise? Me for my stupidity, the car manufacturer for their technology, or the driver for failing to adequately supervise the vehicle?

2 May 2016
k12479 wrote:

If I was to jump in front of an autonomous vehicle and got injured, who is to blame liability-wise? Me for my stupidity, the car manufacturer for their technology, or the driver for failing to adequately supervise the vehicle?

If you jump out in front of a non-autonomous vehicle and the brakes fail who is the blame? You, the vehicle manufacturer or the driver for not reacting to the failure quickly enough to swerve?

Depending on the specifics of the autonomous situation it would be one or the three or nobody at all. I'm sure there'll be one or two people caught in the crossfire as the insurance companies work it out but it's not a big deal in the long term.

TBC

2 May 2016
Give it a few years of people 'driving' autonomous vehicles, and almost everyone that'll pass you, will have at least one person in it fast asleep. For most, it'll be the 'driver'.

2 May 2016
haven't we all found ourselves driving a decent length journey and having every passenger fall asleep once the conversation died down? how will it be any different for someone in the driver's seat of a johnnycab? i'm assuming that by now everyone's seen total recall

3 May 2016
Seeing that driverless cars cant handle road works or bad weather (heavy rain, snow etc obscure the sensors) I would say that drivers won't be able to sleep in an automonous car for the foreseable future. Considering how much of our road network is ploughed up at any given time, imagine if a driver did fall asleep, and the car approached the road works? The car sounds an alarm, are you then supposed to successfully navigate a set of diversions and temporary lights in a groggy half asleep state? Or will the car just pull over? What if there isnt any space to pull over? Will the car then just stop in the carriageway blocking everyone?

3 May 2016
Similarly if there is a sudden downpour of rain and the autonomous driving sensors get flummoxed, what is the car supposed to do if the driver is asleep?

And if the car goes into a tunnel and no longer has a GPS signal that tells it where it is on the map, what is it supposed to do then if the driver is asleep?

What about if you have to drive on a new road that isn't mapped yet? Can you still sleep then?

The reality is, with current tech, autonomous driving can only be a sophisticated driving aid that will only work in certain situations.

All drivers will still need a license.

All drivers will still have to be in a state where they can take control of the vehicle swiftly as needs dictate.

Like I said, pointless survey. Might as well ask if you would be willing to holiday on Mars.

3 May 2016
I've little doubt I'd fall asleep through shear boredom though only once I'd got past the frustration of not being able to 'make a difference' to the driving experience.
It's not as though you can significantly influence progress in a driverless environment.
Given the pace of general tech development we're at the beginning of a very interesting 20 year period for personal transport. The vehicles we (possibly) drive, traffic management, interaction between vehicles, taxation, fuel are all set to change hugely and all at once. The Dutch plan to outlaw traditionally fuelled vehicles is just the beginning. For me the greater question is for those passionate about driving for its enjoyment - can our liberty to drive where we want, when we want - be preserved amongst a sea of change that legislators will inevitably view with controlling eyes?

3 May 2016
How many of the people, who answered the survey, have ever travelled in a fully self-driving car and actually know how they would react to having no human in the car in control of the driving?

Citroëniste.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK