Data Driven Futures

Brits ‘concerned’ over driverless cars

Written by Hannah McGrath

Almost half (43 per cent) of UK adults are worried about the problems that may arise from driverless cars, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 adults by technology firm Studio Graphene found that the rise of automated vehicles and the impact they may have on road safety was highest on people’s list of technology concerns.

The next most worrisome technology of the future was artificial intelligence (AI), with 24 per cent of respondents expressing concerns about its disruptive potential. A further 22 per cent were sceptical of whether AI will live up to the hype surrounding it.

However, some technologies do inspire optimism amongst consumers, with nearly a third (32 per cent) of respondents excited by the positive change that will be brought about by the rise of biometric technologies, such as retina and fingerprint scanning.

The next most positively-rated technology was high speed 5G internet, with 31 per cent saying they expect it to make significant improvements.

A total of 28 per cent said they were excited about potential advances from devices such as wearable technology.

When it comes to Internet of Thing (IoT) technology, such as smart speakers and connected home devices, 37 per cent said they had never heard of the technology. Similarly, the concept of Big Data was a mystery for 35 per cent.

Ritam Gandhi, director and founder of Studio Graphene, said that new technologies tend to conjure both fear and excitement among consumers. “On the one hand they promise to make our lives easier, cheaper or better; on the other, they could risk our safety, compromise personal data or threaten jobs.”

He said it was important that the businesses creating and using such technologies help explain to consumers exactly what the terms mean and how they can improve their day-to-day lives. “Technology ought to be a force for good, but its progress will be restricted if we do not address the confusion and concerns surrounding new digital advances.”