New research conducted by the Transport Systems Catapult, suggests that 39 per cent of British people would now consider using a self-driving vehicle if it was available.
The figure rises to 62 per cent amongst young professionals living in cities.
The research was conducted with the support of the DfT, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Innovate UK, as part of a “Traveller Needs Study”.
It comprised of 10,000 online questionnaire respondents, 50 company interviews, and 100 expert interviews. Rather than focusing on car owners, the study looked at transport users of all types, revealing a much higher than expected potential acceptance of autonomous technology.
Overall, the Traveller Needs Study revealed an increasingly progressive attitude amongst the UK’s transport users which fed into attitudes towards autonomous vehicles. 54 per cent now consider a smart phone an essential part of their journey, whilst 57 per cent would share personal data in order to improve their journeys.
The Transport Systems Catapult is currently working on the LUTZ Pathfinder project, which will oversee the trial of three automated pods within Milton Keynes city centre, and assess their feasibility from both a technological and societal point of view.
Discussing the findings, TSC CEO Steve Yianni commented: “Drivers who use autonomous features could benefit from additional productive time, reduced fatigue and decreased congestion – not to mention the increased safety of self-drive technology. We think these figures demonstrate a growing awareness of these benefits.”