Fleetcare Customer Survey Results - Driverless Cars

68% of Australian drivers say they would be ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely to buy a driverless car in the future if money was not an issue. The latest Fleetcare Drivers Poll, conducted by leading fleet management company Fleetcare, reveals a very high level of acceptability of the new technology. The findings come just days ahead of the first driverless car trials to be conducted in Australia this weekend, as part of the International Driverless Cars Conference (5th and 6th November in Adelaide).

Fleetcare Drivers Poll, conducted nationally among a panel of 1095 drivers, also showed that 50% of drivers would be ‘very willing’ to take part in trials by traveling in a driverless vehicle, and a further 28% would be ‘somewhat willing.’ Asked about their willingness to drive their own car on the same road as driverless vehicles, 77% of drivers would be either very or somewhat willing.

Nigel Malcolm, Chief Executive Officer of Fleetcare says, ‘We have found a surprisingly high level of willingness to embrace a technology that is significantly different from what we currently use. Australian drivers are under no illusions about the potential pitfalls of driverless cars. But even taking these into account, the majority of drivers believe their lives would be safer and easier.’

Asked about their biggest concerns, 33% of respondents stated technical malfunction, while 15% said that inadequate local information could lead to mistakes and 10% were worried about the threat of external hacking into cars’ systems. Only 6% had concerns about inadequate sensors or monitoring technology, possibly attesting to the successful adaptation to current sensor technology such as advanced cruise control with radar, lane departure, blind spot alerts and active braking systems which are increasingly standard equipment on modern cars. 3% of drivers said their biggest concern was ‘Artificial intelligence gone too far.’

Typical concerns voiced by drivers were that current GPS devices are far from perfect, that even mobile phones and computers frequently malfunction, and that while information was available for metropolitan regions, what about rural areas: for example, would a fastmoving driverless car be able to avoid a collision with a kangaroo? Some respondents questioned if there is a legal framework to deal with driverless cars and asked about the implications for insurance.

But despite these concerns, when asked if they thought driverless cars would lead to fewer or more problems on the road, 23% said there would be ‘a lot fewer problems and 30% ‘somewhat fewer problems’ – a total of 53%. This contrasts with the collective 21% who felt there would be more problems (14% somewhat more and 7% a lot more). 27% of drivers said there would be the same number of problems.

A survey conducted by the University of Michigan in July 2014 showed that Australians had more positive attitudes to driverless technology, than people in USA and UK. Separate surveys conducted in UK this year show the acceptance level of driverless cars is less than 25%, with greatest resistance among older drivers and women.

As promised, here are the results from the survey you completed.

Q. If the trials mentioned above were to take place at a time and location convenient to you, how willing would you be to take part by traveling in a driverless vehicle?

driverless vehicle question 1

Q. And would you be willing to drive your own car on the same road, at the same time, as driverless vehicles?

driverless vehicle question 2

Q. If money was not an issue how likely would you be to buy a driverless car in the future?

driverless vehicle question 3

Q. Do you think driverless cars will lead to fewer or more problems on the road?

driverless vehicle question 4

Q. Which of the following represents your biggest concern with driverless cars?

driverless vehicle question 5

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Categories: Survey Results, Australia
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