Companies urged to address trust concerns over driverless cars

Fewer than one in five UK motorists would trust driverless cars built by technology giants, according to new research.

Google has built cars to test self-driving software and there is growing speculation that Apple is to enter the automotive industry.

But a study by analysts Inrix found that just 18% of UK motorists would trust technology firms to build autonomous vehicles and to secure connected car data.

Many drivers say they do not trust the technology. (Philip Toscano/PA)

The report found that drivers have more faith in established car manufacturers, with 27% trusting them with their personal information.

Inrix chief economist Dr Graham Cookson said: “The UK is charging towards a transport revolution and time is ticking for Silicon Valley’s tech giants to address data security and privacy concerns.

“Consumers are more aware than ever of keeping their data safe, and the fact that they trust traditional car-makers over tech giants with their in-car data sends a powerful message.

A prototype Nissan Leaf driverless car. (Philip Toscano/PA)

“While UK drivers are more sceptical of today’s tech titans, traditional car-makers still need to do more to show consumers the benefits of their connected and, in the future, autonomous vehicles to secure a concrete foothold in this highly lucrative market.

“As connected and autonomous vehicles become an essential part of brands’ business model, the stakes have never been higher.”

Over half (53%) of UK drivers believe autonomous vehicles will be widely available within a decade, but just 17% say they would be likely to buy one.

Driverless cars will be on UK motorways in the next three years. (Rui Vieira/PA)

Some 5,054 drivers in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the US were surveyed for the study.

Driverless cars will be deployed on UK motorways in the next three years.

The Driven consortium of technology firms said the project – described as the most complex autonomous vehicle trial anywhere in the world – will culminate in driverless cars travelling from London to Oxford by 2019.

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