Currently reading: Survey finds majority of UK drivers not ready for driverless cars
YouGov poll results show that 69% of UK drivers would not be 'comfortable' sharing the roads with driverless vehicles

More than two-thirds of drivers would be ‘uncomfortable’ with the prospect of driverless cars being allowed on British motorways next year, according to a new survey.

The YouGov poll asked drivers if they would be comfortable or uncomfortable with “the idea of driverless cars” on British motorways. Of the 1947 adults surveyed, 36% said they would not be comfortable at all with the prospect and 33% saying they would not be ‘very comfortable’.

Just 6% of respondents said they would be ‘very comfortable’, with 17% saying they would be ‘fairly comfortable’, while 9% said they didn’t know.

The survey follows the government’s ‘call to evidence’ on the planned introduction of cars using advanced automated lane keeping systems (ALKS) in the UK next year. 

Described as ‘traffic jam chauffeur technology’, ALKS would allow cars to entirely control themselves at speeds of up to 37mph in heavy traffic conditions on motorways.

Despite the phrasing being used in the wider media, the proposed ALKS technology is not ‘driverless’ but is intended as an advanced assistance system. Regulations mean that ALKS systems can be activated only when a driver is present, with monitoring safeguards in place to ensure the driver is ready to regain control should the situation require it.

But the UK government has previously announced plans to allow limited trials of fully autonomous cars on British roads in 2021 and the survey results show that efforts will be required to convince the public they are safe.

Notably, the results shows that younger people are more open to the prospect of driverless technology. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, just 19% said they would be ‘not comfortable at all’ with driverless cars, compared with 47% of 50- to 65-year-olds, and 50% of those aged 65 and over.

Read more

Is the public ready to share the roads with self-driving cars?

Autonomous car trials: are they smart or reckless?​

UK to allow cars with new automated systems on roads in 2021​

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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JudicaelCoudrin 7 September 2020


I think its a dead end unfortunatly

Cobnapint 23 August 2020

How many hundreds of years

And how many millions of pounds is it going to cost before EVERY possible scenario/obstacle/driving environment/ability to recognise what and what isn't a white line, is reliably mapped into the processor of a driverless car that won't kill either the occupants or those outside it. And after all that - never mind those that won't be comfortable with driverless cars around them, what about how many would WANT a driverless car. And after THAT, as somebody pointed out earlier - you've still got to be vigilant at the wheel - so what's the fricking point...!
Technomad 23 August 2020

The utter level of

The utter level of assumptiveness  and blind ignorance on this forum is genuinely breathtaking. This is why we can't have nice things any more.

Bainthrewo 23 August 2020

Sorry to say but the utter level

of blind faith shown by some who believe that technology is the panacea to everything is equally breathtaking.

Just look at the amount of Covidiots recently and then convince me that any would be ready to takeover in the event that this system required them to or that the tech is clever enough and reliable enough to recognise when they are not...

Plenty of Tesla owners think Autopilot does exactly what it’s name implies...  will this be any different?