Driverless cars to outnumber normal cars within 15 years, believe UK consumers

If you spend much time thinking about driverless cars, you might wonder when autonomous vehicles will begin to outnumber human drivers on the roads.

According to the results of a new UK survey, that tipping point could occur as soon as the year 2032.

The poll, which looked at attitudes towards artificial intelligence (AI) in the automotive sector, found that two-thirds of UK consumers (66%) believe there will be more driverless cars on the road than normal cars within the next 15 years.

However, the survey, conducted by information management company OpenText, also found some scepticism about this timeline. More than half (56%) of the female respondents and 44% of the men questioned said that they believed the shift would never happen.



Respondents were also asked about the benefits of autonomous driving. The biggest benefit was seen to be ‘improved road safety’, with two in five UK consumers (42%) agreeing that driverless vehicles will make the roads safer.

We are on the cusp of self-driving cars becoming a reality and, in the next couple of years, the automotive industry will be transformed beyond recognition.
— Mark Bridger, vice president of sales, Northern Europe, OpenText

More than a quarter of those questioned (27%) believe that the ability of driverless cars to obey all traffic rules will improve road safety in the UK, while one in ten (10%) think the technology will only make the UK’s motorways safer.

However, despite this optimism, the poll found that people do not yet feel ready to travel in driverless cars, with almost half of those questioned (46%) saying they would not feel comfortable as a passenger in an autonomous vehicle.

“We are on the cusp of self-driving cars becoming a reality and, in the next couple of years, the automotive industry will be transformed beyond recognition,” said Mark Bridger, OpenText’s vice president of sales for Northern Europe.

“Driverless cars’ onboard sensors generate vast amount of data. As autonomous vehicles become more common, the data they produce will become a new, powerful asset for organisations.

“The technological advances in AI will lead to a growing level of trust amongst British citizens when it comes to autonomous vehicles, particularly in regards to improving road safety.”