Driverless cars are officially here. The newest in smart cars is currently being tested in Dubai, along with some of the other markets, and a key question is how are driverless cars perceived by UAE Residents.
A recent study using YouGov’s Omnibus Service, has found that most UAE residents are enthusiastic about driverless cars, with 57 percent of respondents aware of driverless car trials taking place in Downtown Dubai, however many have concerns over their safety and implementation.
The study revealed that 61 percent residents believe driverless cars will allow everyone to get around easily regardless of their driving ability as well as 43 percent of research participants believing that driverless cars will help reduce traffic congestion on roads.
With new technology come new concerns and the safety of driverless cars is of great concern as only 43 percent of research participants believe they would be safe in comparison to standard cars driven by humans. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of UAE residents find the biggest worry about using driverless cars is the risk of technology failure e.g. the car failing to stop at traffic lights, followed by software hacking and other mechanical failures (69 percent).
Creating separate lanes or roads for driverless cars is a solution 72 percent of residents see as imperative, also 76 percent believe it would be important to retain ‘manual controls’ in the cars themselves.
Many residents would consider using driverless cars for day to day activities such as commuting to work (42 percent) and travelling on a highway (44 percent). Conversely not as many residents would consider using driverless cars in high risk situations such as taking a family member or friend in urgent need of medical attention to the hospital (35 percent) or having children ride to school or other activities alone (33 percent).
UAE residents would carry out activities such as speaking on their phone car (44 percent), listen to the radio (39 percent), talk with other passengers (37 percent) and rest (37 percent) while using a driverless car. However just 24 percent of residents would choose to sleep while in a driverless car.
“Driverless cars do offer a promising alternative to driving and would reduce the number of road fatalities due to human error. However, public dilemma related to their security, and how these autonomous vehicles are likely to behave when surrounded by human motorists, leave much room for technology experts and regulators alike to ensure self-driven cars are indeed safe in all situations,” said YouGov’s Senior Research Manager, Anjali Chhabra.
The study was conducted to assess overall perceptions of driverless cars among UAE residents and was conducted online by interviewing members of YouGov’s online research panel who are residents of the UAE.