25% of people would sleep behind the wheel of a self driving car

Google's self driving car.

More than a quarter of people would be happy to go to sleep in a car that was driving itself, says a new survey.

The What Car.com questionnaire found that while new autonomous technology was not trusted overall, some 26% of respondents said they would be quite happy to nod off while the computer took control.

And yet 32% of people said motorways would be the best ones on which to use self-driving cars.

Just under half (49%) said that traffic jams were ideal places for autonomous cars to take over, while 18% said they would most like the car to take the strain for city driving.

However, 45% said they found the idea of a car taking over the whole driving process ‘very unappealing’ and 51% said they would feel ‘unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ behind the wheel of a car that was driving itself.

Whatcar.com editorial director, Jim Holder, said: “It’s clear that autonomous cars have a way to go before the concept is truly adopted by the motoring public.

“Half the drivers we talked to would feel happiest allowing their car to take over in a traffic jam, when the risk is minimal, while hardly any of them would feel safe letting their car guide them along urban and country roads.”

He continued: “So it’s perhaps a surprise that so many would feel all right about being piloted down some of the fastest roads — and then even more of a shock that so many would feel able to take a nap.

“The increasing availability of technologies like blind spot monitoring, automated emergency braking and radar-governed cruise control is slowly turning people around to the idea of self-driving cars but, even so, only just more than one in 10 believes we will see entirely autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.”


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