Around 30% of Belgians believe that self-driving cars will fail to avoid an accident, up from 20% three years ago.
They are even more than four in ten, and one in two Walloons, to think that they will never see the light of day, according to a survey carried out by the Vias institute. The over-media coverage of certain accidents involving this type of vehicle seems to have had a negative impact on public confidence, he analyzes. It therefore recommends information actions in order to restore the confidence of drivers.
Only one in five Belgians (18%) see as the main advantage of autonomous cars a lower involvement in accidents, against 23% at the start of 2017, in the previous edition of this survey. Walloons (13%) are much less optimistic than Flemings (22%). In the south of the country, the people questioned rather cite in the first place the fact that they make it possible to reduce stress by driving in a more relaxed way (15%).
Four Belgians in 10 (40%) do not even find any advantage in autonomous cars, for a rate of 37% three years ago. The over-media coverage of certain accidents, especially in the United States, has probably influenced their opinion, Vias believes.
Slightly less than half of those polled do not believe at all in a fleet made up entirely of fully autonomous cars and those who think this is possible do not consider it before … 2050.
On the other hand, fewer and fewer Belgians value their freedom to drive. They are thus 28% to like to have the control of their vehicle and not to want to leave the controls with a computer, against 42% in 2017.
The ethical choice, namely how the autonomous car will react when it has to choose between several potential victims in the event of an inevitable accident, concerns only 22% of those questioned.
Finally, for 53% of respondents, the car manufacturer is the first responsible in the event of an accident with an autonomous car.
The ultimate goal of autonomous vehicles remains to strive for zero accidents / fatalities, the only humanly acceptable goal, comments Vias. Information actions are essential to restore the confidence of drivers. Various projects in which the institute is participating will also see the light of day in the coming months in order to demonstrate the benefits of this technology for road safety and mobility, concludes Vias.