Driverless traffic in the UK might begin with trucks

Transport information firm Inrix has identified the most suitable UK roads for driverless traffic. The M6/M74 corridor between Manchester and Glasgow is the most valuable route for driverless lorries in the UK, while the M25 could see the biggest safety improvements, says firm.

The report stated that highly automated vehicles are “posed to dramatically alter the long-haul trucking sector”, with platoons of self-driving lorries expected to be trialled on England's motorways by the end of the year.

OpenText, the leaders in enterprise information management, recently surveyed 2,000 UK consumers on their attitudes towards driverless/autonomous cars.

The survey has revealed confusion around the extent to which the UK public believe driverless cars will infiltrate their daily lives in the coming years, highlighting a mixture of inevitability and wariness when it comes to embracing the trend enabled by AI technology.

A third (31%) think there will be more driverless/autonomous cars on the road than ordinary cars in the next 10 to 15 years. However, when OpenText ran a similar survey in 2017, nearly twice as many people (66%) thought this would be the case.

In 2017, 24% said they would feel comfortable being a passenger in a driverless/autonomous car, yet this figure has dropped to 19% when the survey ran this year.

Moreover, only 23% of UK citizens responding to the 2018 survey think the ability of driverless/autonomous vehicles to obey all traffic rules will improve road safety, down from 42% in 2017. Today, only one in ten (10%) think this technology will make roads safer (but only on UK motorways).

"The results of this research highlight that we’re very much in an era of transition for automotive vehicles. The mix of confusion, fear, optimism and inevitability in the minds of UK citizens shows that whereas some AI-enabled technologies have moved seamlessly into our lives, more game-changing offerings like autonomous vehicles will take time to be embraced. AI will enable automakers to analyse, adapt and suggest solutions based on data. As autonomous vehicles become more common, the data they produce will become a new, powerful asset for organisations," said Mark Bridger, SVP, Europe, OpenText.

"Yet, automotive companies need to ensure they are doing more than delivering the most innovative connected technology. Addressing consumer concerns and loss of confidence will be critical for success and take up too. They need to ensure the technology is safe and reliable in order to install the level of trust needed for mass adoption,” he added.