The majority of UK drivers would be uncomfortable using a driverless car that did not have front seats and a steering wheel, according to survey by the London School of Economics.
The survey was carried out in conjunction with Goodyear's Innovation Centre in Luxembourg and showed that drivers welcome some self-driving car benefits but that there are hurdles to complete adoption.
"Many drivers are making increasing use of discrete automated systems in the car, such as cruise control and parking assist, but a gut feeling persists that there needs to be a human driver in control of the vehicle," said Dr Chris Tennant of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the LSE.
"Despite the high profile for driverless technology in the media today, it's clear that many people still have fundamental misgivings about the technology.
"Our research identifies a number of deep-seated reservations, from the willingness to give up control, to the reliability of the technology and the vehicle's ability to integrate into the social space that is the road."
The most notable problem for some is the idea of a driverless car not having a steering wheel. Around 78 per cent said that they think it should be retained, even if just for show.
Another 55 per cent of UK citizens would feel uncomfortable using the roads with autonomous vehicles (AVs), compared with around 43 per cent internationally, and 78 per cent would want to retain a steering wheel.
Some 41 per cent see the benefits of driverless cars for improving our lives and believe that less chance of human error might lead to improved road safety.
"Our study explores how the road might evolve with the arrival of AVs. Enabling a 'social interaction' between human drivers and AVs will be a crucial part of this process," said Carlos Cipollitti, director of the Goodyear Innovation Centre.
"As an active contributor to the debates on road safety and innovation, Goodyear is exploring some of the key areas that are shaping the future of mobility. We hope that the insights generated by this research will help all relevant stakeholders to work together towards a successful introduction of AVs."
Citizens in 11 countries were polled for the research, and the UK's were the most sceptical. A whopping 83 per cent of the 1,500 UK respondents expressed concerns that autonomous cars might malfunction, compared with 71 per cent in the other countries.
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