Survey shows qualified support for driverless vehicles

University of Greenwich research shows only 11% are hostile to idea of connected and autonomous vehicles

Almost half of the public are in favour of driverless vehicles, with most of the other half still undecided, according to research carried out as part of the GATEway Project.

GATEway driverless podIt was run by the University of Greenwich, which is involved in the programme led by mobility specialist TRL to test autonomous vehicles around the Greenwich peninsula.

A survey of 925 people found that 43% were in favour of the driverless vehicle concept, with 46% undecided. The latter group cited concerns about cyber security (44%), road safety (51%) and other issues (5%).

Only 11% were negative about the idea, a figure borne out by sentiment mapping of a much larger group. Early results form this exercise, led by digital engagement platform provider Commonplace, showed that 78% were in favour of the concept, provided the vehicles are safe and resistant to cyber attack.

Beginning of journey

Richard Cuerden, academy director at TRL, said: “This is just the beginning of the journey towards connected and autonomous vehicles. Thanks to the GATEway Project’s research, the UK is in a prime position to build upon the lessons learned and experience gained in trialling a whole range of driverless vehicles in urban environments.

“We see driverless vehicles as a practical solution to delivering safe, clean, accessible and affordable mobility, and we are proud to be part of creating our future transport system.”

The project is laying the ground for the Smart Mobility Living Lab, a £19 million testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles in the London Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. It will give transport manufacturers and operators a place to test new mobility solutions.

Image from TRL