Artificial Intelligence

Study reveals 85% of Brits worried about AI in motor vehicles

1st June 2023
Sheryl Miles

A report from the car insurance experts at Forbes Advisor shines light on the concerns and reluctance of Brits towards the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in motor vehicles.

The price comparison and financial guidance website reveals that more than four in five Brits (85%) have reservations about the use of AI in cars, with safety and reliability being the primary worry for the majority (64%). 

One of the key concerns expressed by respondents is the potential loss of control and independence for drivers, with nearly half (49%) conveying this worry. Ethical decision-making in critical situations (41%), as well as cybersecurity vulnerabilities and hacking risks (41%), are also prominent concerns. 

The report delves further into Brits' fears regarding the increased presence of self-driving cars on public roads. The primary worry relates to interactions with pedestrians and cyclists (44%), followed by concerns about technological vulnerabilities (36%) and the reliability of self-driving cars (31%). Additionally, worries are expressed over legal and liability issues regarding other drivers (29%), infrastructure readiness (24%), and potential job losses in the transportation industry (15%).

The research reveals that just a quarter (25%) would be willing to use self-driving cars in daily life. 

The demographic breakdown of the responses reveals a clear disparity: while a third of male respondents (33%) express willingness to use self-driving cars, fewer than one in five female drivers (18%) are open to the idea.  

Additionally, there is a clear generational gap: more than two in five Brits aged 18–34 claim to be open to using self-driving cars. This decreases with age greatly, with just over one quarter (27%) of those aged 35–54 and one in 10 (11%) 55+ willing to use them.

In terms of transportation efficiency, the study indicates that almost four in five respondents (79%) lack confidence in the ability of AI-equipped motor vehicles to make transportation systems more efficient. However, AI is already having an impact on our transport and traffic systems – on 15 May, a self-driving bus service launched in Edinburgh. 

Overall, only 25% of participants in the survey believe that self-driving cars will have a positive impact on road traffic and congestion, despite the government argument that self-driving vehicles will improve people's access to education and other vital services.

Thorough testing and validation of AI systems before deployment is another significant concern, with more than a third of participants (34%) stating that they would feel more confident if AI systems underwent rigorous testing and validation processes. Furthermore, more than one-quarter of respondents (29%) express a desire for enhanced use control and override options in AI-assisted driving features. 

The technological developments that would make people more comfortable about the use of AI in motor vehicles:

Kevin Pratt, Car Insurance expert at Forbes Advisor says: "Our research brings to light the reservations and concerns of Brits regarding the integration of AI in motor vehicles. While technology such as cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane drift management already exists in cars, it is clear people are – rightly or wrongly – nervous about the further use of AI in a potentially dangerous context.

“Motor companies should take these findings into consideration as they navigate the path toward self-driving cars. Building trust and confidence requires the implementation of reliable backup systems, fail-safe mechanisms, and thorough testing and validation of AI systems, acknowledging legitimate security and safety technology concerns.

“Providing drivers with enhanced control and override options is crucial. Car insurance considerations also come into play, as liability issues and cybersecurity vulnerabilities remain top concerns. By addressing these factors and working towards industry-wide standards, we can pave the way for a future where AI-equipped vehicles deliver enhanced safety, reliability, and peace of mind for all."

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