New research has shown that motorhome owners look set to snub driverless vehicle technology despite over 300,000 miles of accident free driving in a range of different vehicles.
The technology would see the mobile home use GPS, radar and other sensors to automatically drive itself without any human intervention. But this has been criticised by owners who are concerned about the safety of the systems on the roads of the United Kingdom and even more so on the roads of Europe. Almost all the drivers questioned (98%) said that driving was part of the enjoyment of exploring in a motorhome. In the survey 40% refused to even consider ownership of the technology and 65% were sceptical they would live long enough to see the technology. These results show the builders of the technology have a lot of work to do if they are to sway the public’s opinion.
Additionally, 56% thought the technology would be best served as a crash prevention system to reduce the number of expensive claims made each year on motorhome insurance policies. Only 33% thought that driverless technology would be beneficial to road safety. According to the analysis, 21% of mobile home owners have prior driving convictions, and speeding-related offences accounted for 71% of these convictions. Despite this, half of those surveyed felt the technologies ability to never exceed the speed limit was an attractive quality but not fool-proof. Certainly most of those interviewed thought the technology was something that will not be seen in motorhomes for many years, and in the meantime thought more should be done to improve driver standards via better training, as well as incentives by the government and motorhome insurance companies.
Without doubt 2012 has seen huge advances in driverless technology and the technology may become the norm much earlier than some think. Recently a video release showed the practical benefits of the technology to help the lives of the elderly and it may be this sector of the market where the technology first takes hold.