Fleet News

Fleets and motorists against driverless cars

A Fleet News poll has shown nearly three quarters of fleets questioned are against driverless cars.

72% of those who responded to the online poll said they would not run driverless, or autonomous, cars on their fleet.

In a separate survey by Smart Witness, nearly nine out of ten road users have said all autonomous vehicles should be installed with forward facing video incident cameras to show if they were at fault in the event of a collision.

Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the move last month (July 2014) for a £10m trial for driverless cars to go ahead in three cities and on certain roads such as motorways and in specific lanes.

Smart Witness managing director Simon Marsh said: “Two thirds of motorists said that the Government was premature in allowing driverless cars on UK roads and that more tests were needed to ensure the safety of the new technology.

“Also there were concerns raised about liability and whether these vehicles could be insured because computer error could easily be called into question on any accident involving a driverless car. As a result nearly nine out of ten motorists called for incident cameras to be compulsory in these so-called Robo Cars so that there would be clear evidence of which vehicle was at fault in the event of a collision.”

According to the Smart Witness survey nearly 80% (79.4%) of motorists felt there would be added complications to resolving insurance disputes involving autonomous cars, and that computer error would always be suspected as the cause of the crash, which would make premiums considerably higher than regular vehicles.

The present the Coalition Government has fast-tracked measures for driver-free cars to be allowed on certain roads by January 2015. The new technology for these vehicles boasts that it is able to give complete control to an on-board computer with the car guided by radar, laser sensors, cameras and sat nav.

Marsh added: “There will be serious issues surrounding the insurance on driverless cars unless they use incident cameras that provide court admissible data."

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  • Gordon T - 16/09/2014 21:38

    Back in 2006 when I wanted a Prius for my company car our fleet manager was aghast - why would I want such a thing! Fleets are sadly still dominated by a macho culture that would see autonomous cars as wimpy. I'm sure is an autonomous Jag/ BMW/ Merc became available (which will happen sooner or later) then managers will be clamouring for them! The reality is that taking drivers out of the equation will make these vehicles safer to use.

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