Irish motorists’ car of the future already a reality

Features on future cars, that the public expect to have, are already on offer today according to a new survey conducted by Bosch.

When asked what they expect a new car to be able to do in 2025, two thirds (66 per cent ) of desired functions are already fitted to production cars today, while the remaining 33 per cent will enter production within the next two years. The survey is part of Bosch’s #asmartercar campaign, to improve knowledge and acceptance of driverless car technologies.

The YouGov Omnibus survey of more than 2,000 respondents in the UK also showed that while 28 per cent of car drivers said they were wary about using driverless car technology on the road, the most popular requests for the car of the future took control away from the driver.

Most Irish adults also said they expected their future cars in 2025 to be able to maintain a safe distance from the car in front (66 per cent ), take control to avoid an accident (56 per cent ), park itself (55 per cent ), and predict traffic and change route (51 per cent ).

Not only are the most popular features for the car of the future examples of automated technology, they are all on cars in production today. Drivers can maintain a safe distance from the car in front using adaptive cruise control.

Many cars already take control to avoid an accident by using automated emergency braking (AEB ), a technology that is seen on some of Ireland’s most popular new cars and needed to receive a EuroNCAP 5* rating. Meanwhile, a number of cars on sale today already park themselves.

Steffen Hoffmann, UK and Ireland president of Bosch, said: “Our research shows that there is a clear disconnect between motorists’ perception of driverless technology and reality. The introduction of driverless technology is a gradual process, with automated features first being introduced in non-critical situations. However, we expect that highly automated vehicles will be driving themselves on the motorway by 2020, with fully automated technology or driverless cars starting after 2025.”

Bosch’s survey also showed that motorists believe the presence of driverless cars on UK and Irish roads will not happen any time soon. The majority (65 per cent ) of car drivers think that it will be more than five years before they will see driverless cars on all UK and Irish roads. However, Bosch will be testing automated vehicles in London later this year.

The #asmartercar campaign by Bosch aims to improve knowledge and acceptance of driverless car technology through better education. The survey found that drivers aged 55+ are most likely to say that a driverless car would not make them feel safer in any situation (42 per cent ). These motorists are also most likely to say they do not know enough about these cars (27 per cent ).

In a separate survey, Bosch also questioned a group of six-year-olds about their ideal car of the future, who see driverless cars as a positive technology and moreover as a must.

One respondent, Kobei, said: “If cars don’t have a driver that means anyone can drive them, no matter what age. That means that even people as old as 70 or 80 can drive them.”

Ava, another six-year-old interviewee, said: “It [the car of the future] drives on its own as it is electric, so I can watch TV in the car.”

Daniel, who also participated in the survey, said: “We tell it [the car] where to go and then it copies a map where to go and then it drives there itself.”

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