UK drivers trust established car firms over tech giants on driverless cars though majority trust the safety aspect regardless

Rebecca Smith
Google has been among the companies making inroads into driverless cars
Google has been among the companies making inroads into driverless cars (Source: Getty)

UK drivers are feeling confident about the future of driverless cars, with the majority expecting them to be as safe or safer than current cars.

However, according to research by connected car services firm Inrix, people in the UK were more trusting of established car firms when it came to securing in-car data than they were of the world's tech giants.

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Inrix surveyed over 5,000 respondents across five countries to gauge their views on the progress of driverless cars.

UK drivers were uncertain who to trust with their in-car data; a third said they didn't trust anybody to secure connected car data, while 27 per cent trusted traditional car firms as opposed to the 18 per cent who picked Silicon Valley's tech giants.

This opinion differed across nations, as tech firms were more trusted with data and privacy in the US and Italy, while car firms were deemed more trustworthy in the UK, Germany and France.

Many car giants have teamed up with tech firms in a bid to nose ahead in the driverless car race. Ford announced a partnership with Amazon last year, while Google has teamed up with the likes of Fiat Chrysler and Honda, as well as ride-hailing firm Lyft.

Dr Graham Cookson, chief economist and head of research at Inrix, said:

Traditional carmakers have built up brand equity with over a century of experience in creating quality products that consumers can trust.

Tech giants are still considered the new kids on the block in the automobile market and can only earn consumer confidence with time.

Cookson added that that traditional car firms still needed to do more to convince consumers of the benefits of "their connected, and in the future, autonomous, vehicles to secure a concrete foothold in this highly lucrative market".

And while 61 per cent of UK drivers said they felt autonomous cars will be as safe or safer than current cars, not even one in five (17 per cent) would currently buy one. People do expect progress to accelerate though, as over half of UK drivers feel driverless cars will be widely available within a decade.

Inrix noted respondents to its survey said that proving driverless cars are safer than today's vehicles will be key to convincing them to buy one.

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