Autonomous cars cause job fear for business drivers

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One in four business drivers fear being replaced by autonomous vehicles in their working lifetime, according to new research from fleet telematics solutions provider Masternaut.

Driverless cars are currently being trialled in Milton Keynes, Greenwich and Coventry while ministers consider the changes that will need to be made to the Highway Code for the technology to be used by the general public.

Steve Towe, Chief Commercial Officer and UK Managing Director, said:

“Driverless car technology is a very exciting development for the automotive industry and represents a major step change for UK roads, one of the biggest changes in history. Previously a science fiction dream, driverless cars are now very real and are being tested on our roads, and we’re intrigued to see what the future holds for the technology.”

The survey of 2000 UK employees who drive as part of their job, showed that business drivers believe the biggest barrier for entry for driverless cars rolling out onto UK roads to be integration with regular vehicles (41%). This was followed by concerns of updating road infrastructure (37%) and insurance and liability issues (34%).

A third (33%) of respondents are apprehensive about viruses and computer glitches affecting the car’s performance. 30% said changes to driving regulations would present a stumbling block to autonomous vehicles.

“It’s very important that in order to get the true picture on the future of driverless cars, that we consider the potential impact on a very important group of stakeholders; the business driver, the people who use the roads every day as part of their job. We haven’t heard a great deal from professional drivers on how driverless car technology could affect them in the future, which is something that needs to be taken into consideration, especially considering that to date in 2015, 56% of new vehicle registrations have been fleet vehicles.”

Drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most concerned about the implementation of driverless vehicles, with over half (55%) saying they were worried about being replaced.

Older respondents are less worried, with 34 percent of 34-44-year-olds reporting anxiety about losing their jobs and just 12% 45-54-year-olds showing concern. This could suggest that drivers feel full scale implementation could be some way off.

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