Currently reading: One in four drivers would sleep in self-driving car
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?
Jimi Beckwith
News
2 mins read
2 May 2016

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.

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Bob Cholmondeley 3 May 2016

How many of the people, who

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?
Vimeous 3 May 2016

Only 1-in-4?

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?
winniethewoo 3 May 2016

Similarly if there is a

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.