Nissan ProPilot driver assist techAs news emerges that many Brits are confused by the introduction of ‘semi-autonomous’ safety systems in cars, new research shows motorists are clear on one thing: they want to keep control.

A survey by MoneySupermarket has found 76 percent of drivers want to be in control of their own vehicle, rather than leave it to autonomous systems. Equally, 68 percent don’t trust autonomous tech and another 68 percent don’t believe it’s safe.

Almost one in two are suffering ‘driverless dread’ and think introducing autonomous cars is a bad idea, with the over-55s being particularly negative about it. Almost half of 24 to 34 year-olds were receptive to self-driving cars, though.

MoneySupermarket editor-in-chief Tom Flack said it’s “understandable that people are sceptical, as full control over their vehicle will be lost.There will no doubt be a transitional period where people get used to the new technology on offer.”

Audi Piloted Driving autonomous car

The comparison website does, however, believe autonomous cars are a good thing, “reducing accidents and bringing down the cost of motoring, including insurance”.

The survey also looked at ethical issues: who is at fault if an autonomous car crashes. A total of 45 percent of respondents would blame the car manufacturer, but 34 percent would blame the ‘driver’  even if they weren’t driving at the time.

Curiously, 18 percent say nobody would be at fault if a driverless car crashed.

Audi Piloted Driving autonomous car

Other worries include rising costs such as soaring MOT prices, while 42 percent believe car insurance will actually become more expensive when autonomous cars take to the roads in significant numbers. 

As for the joy of driving, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Only 36 percent of people are worried about the arrival of autonomous cars because they enjoy driving…

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