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January 9, 2015

Britons “horrified” by self-driving cars

A third of consumers also expect autonomous cars to increase insurance premiums.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

16% of British consumers are "horrified" by the idea of self-driving cars, as automated vehicles take to public roads later this month.

A Uswitch.com survey of 1,000 adults found that 50% are reluctant to be passengers in driverless cars, while 43% said they would not trust the safety of automated cars.

It comes as driverless cars are set to begin trials in Greenwich, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry later this month, in a bid to examine the challenges of bringing automated vehicles to the UK’s roads.

Rod Jones, Head of Car Insurance at uSwitch.com, said: "We may be years away from driverless cars outnumbering traditional vehicles on British roads, but it’s clear motorists are already questioning the impact they will have on their lives."

"With human error accounting for around 90% of road accidents, the potential safety benefits of driverless cars are significant and they should have a positive impact on car insurance premiums."

"However, confusion is still widespread and it will be vital for the Government and the insurance industry to clarify the issue of liability over the coming months if driverless technology is to receive the widespread public support it deserves."

The research also found concerns over the cost of introducing driverless cars, with over a third of consumers expecting them to increase insurance premiums.

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