A considerable amount of investment is being poured into driverless car technology, however while this may well be the future of public transport, it doesn’t look as though the general public will be so quick to give up the pleasure of driving their own cars.
Research carried out by Ipsos MORI for car manufacturer Mazda, polled over 1,000 motorists in the UK and found that 71% said that they still want to be able to drive themselves in the future.
What many car manufacturing innovators in the self-driving vehicle field may forget is that the majority of people enjoy driving and often do so for pleasure. The research demonstrated a significant emotional connection between a car and its owner. 70% of drivers “hope that future generations will continue to have the option to drive cars”. 62% stated that they have driven “just for fun” and 81% say they enjoy driving because it “gives them independence”.
So, while there is still time for attitudes to change, it looks like a ‘Demolition Man’ type future where all cars default to self-drive isn’t all that likely if the average car owner has anything to say about it.
UK Managing Director of Mazda, Jeremy Thomson, said: “It’s heartening to see that so many British drivers still love driving – yes, self-driving cars are coming and yes they have a role to play, but for us, there is nothing quite like the physical pleasure of driving; the quickening of the pulse, the racing of the heart, the open road, the special moments to treasure and share.
“If you look at the car industry in general, we believe that many manufacturers are taking a lot of driving pleasure away from drivers. At Mazda we are fighting against this and it’s clear from the research that there’s still a huge percentage of drivers who just want to be behind the wheel. In a world that questions the act of driving and devalues the role of the car and the role of the driver through technological changes, we will continue to challenge convention for the love of driving”.
“Our aim is a motorised society free of traffic accidents, and we will help achieve this by continuing to advance the safety fundamentals – driving position, pedal layout, visibility and our Active Driving Display, and we will also continuously develop, update and make standard our advanced safety features. Additionally, we aim to make the Mazda Co-Pilot Concept, which uses autonomous driving technologies to allow drivers to enjoy driving with peace of mind, standard by 2025.”