Will Driverless Cars Reduce Accidents?

Wed 28th Nov 2018

Despite 90 per cent of car accidents being caused by human error, new research suggests that motorists are unsure whether driverless cars will be any safer.

According to a new report from AXA Insurance, only a quarter (27%) of 2,000 motorists surveyed said that driverless car technology would lead to fewer accidents on the roads.

The confusion on driverless and autonomous vehicle technology comes weeks after a Euro NCAP and Thatcham study revealed that 71 per cent of motorists actually believe that fully autonomous vehicles are available to buy today.

With a worrying number of motorists believing that their autonomous technology actually makes their car drive itself, AXA have published a video, which uses the Society of Automotive Engineers  (SAE) advice to educate motorists on the level of autonomy available now and in the future.

“Driverless cars will revolutionise transport for the better, making our roads safer but also creating mobility solutions for people who are unable to drive,” said David Williams, Technical Director at AXA UK.

“It is not surprising however, that new technology can be confusing and even lead to scepticism. What is clear, is that we need to educate motorists on the benefits of autonomous vehicles because consumer trust will be vital to their success.”

The SAE guidance works on a scale of 1-5, with level No.1 at no automation and fully controlled by human driver. Level No.5 is full automation and is described as a vehicle that can make informed decisions and control itself and does not require a driver to take control in any situation as it is able to adapt to its surroundings.

In the survey, only third were able to choose the correct definition of what best described a driverless car (level 5).