One in four Irish motorists say they have serious concerns in relation to the advent of autonomous driving.
Some 15 per cent of respondents to the Continental Tyres survey on autonomous driving said that the concept of self-driving cars scares them, while 11 per cent suggested people are becoming too reliant on technology.
One half of respondents said that they would feel unsafe in a self-driving car due to not being in control of the vehicle. In a similar vein, some 36 per cent expressed concerns with the technology underpinning an autonomous driving vehicle.
Notwithstanding the very real safety concerns, respondents to the survey highlighted some of the many benefits that autonomous driving can bring including the opportunity for drivers to spend their time more productively. For a small number of respondents (8 per cent ), autonomous driving, if implemented properly, could deliver the holy grail of accident-free driving.
The survey also showed a certain level of cynicism in relation to the claims of automotive companies. Some 35 per cent of respondents were of the opinion that some car manufacturers have exaggerated what is possible with autonomous driving, but they admit that there is potential for significant safety and efficiency benefits.
Commenting on the survey, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said: “Automated driving will surely be the biggest change to motoring over the next 20 years and it is clear from our survey that Irish motorists have some serious concerns in relation to this development.
“Nevertheless, as a company that is both an expert provider of safety technologies for the automotive industry and a systems manufacturer at the forefront of autonomous driving developments, at Continental, we are in a unique position to expertly understand the complete car.
“We are confident that the advent of autonomous driving will bring huge benefits for road safety, in particular, in developed countries where vehicles will be able to interact with each other and with the built environment. The challenge will be to replicate these advances in developing countries. As a fully committed member of the #STOPTHECRASH campaign, Continental will fully play its part in ensuring that the technological benefits of autonomous driving are spread as widely as possible.”