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The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) commissioned ICM Unlimited to conduct a nationally representative poll on the topic of autonomous vehicles. The poll covers, among other things:

  • How comfortable people would be travelling in a fully-autonomous vehicle
  • What people’s biggest concern would be about travelling in an autonomous vehicle
  • Whether people think humans or cars/computers are better drivers
  • What speed people think autonomous vehicles should be allowed to travel up to
  • A moral dilemma about whose safety people think should be prioritised
  • People’s openness to travelling in autonomous vehicles
  • When, if ever, people think all cars will be autonomous

The findings of the research are drawn upon in IMechE’s ‘Public Perceptions: Driverless Cars‘ report.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Two-thirds of British adults are uncomfortable with the idea of being an occupant in a self-driving car travelling at 70mph (66%).
  • Younger people are more likely than older people to say that they would feel comfortable being in a self-driving car travelling at 70mph. For instance, four in ten 18-24-year-olds say that they would feel comfortable (42%), compared to one in ten of those aged 75 or over (11%).
  • Out of cars/computers and humans, half think that humans are better drivers (51%), while just over in ten think that cars/computers are (12%). Men are twice as likely as women to say that cars/computers are better drivers (16% vs. 8%).

Full data tables: ICM Omnibus – IMechE – Autonomous Vehicles Poll – Tables

The survey was commissioned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and conducted by ICM Unlimited. ICM interviewed a sample of 2,014 GB adults aged 18+ online using its omnibus service between 5 July and 8 July 2019. The results have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults aged 18+.

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