By Stewart Smith on 2016-05-23 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Drivers wary of robo
MORE than half of UK motorist have their doubts about the safety of driving alongside new, self-driving autonomous vehicles which are being developed by several major companies.
A survey by CCTV specialists SmartWitness found that 62 per cent of drivers said they would feel less safe on the roads alongside other vehicles with no human behind the wheel
Around three-quarters of those surveyed said there would be added complications to resolving insurance disputes involving "robo cars."
Latest development of the autonomous motors reveal that people could be buying and driving robo cars as early as 2020 with the first trials on Britain's roads due to start next year - starting on local roads and gradually extending to the motorway network.
There is still great uncertainty over the new technology with motorists calling for strong safeguards to ensure there is a level playing field with insurance claims involving autonomous cars.
Nine out of ten of the 1,000 people surveyed support the compulsory introduction of camera technology in all autonomous vehicles so there would be court admissible proof of exactly what had happened in the event of an accident.
SmartWitness chief executive Paul Singh said: "It is incredibly exciting that Britain is taking the lead globally in the development of autonomous cars.
"But these new findings from the SmartWitness survey show that there are still real fears from ordinary motorists about what will happen if they are in a collision with an autonomous car.
"Around 40 per cent of all motor insurance claims are disputed, but how do you resolve a dispute when you can only hear evidence from one of the drivers involved?
"The simplest way to eliminate the problem is to make camera technology compulsory in all autonomous vehicles. This will provide court admissible proof in the event of an accident and help to alleviate motorists' fears about the introduction of driverless cars.
"It is fantastic that the Government is embracing this new technology and powering forward, but proper safeguards need to be put in place to protect all motorists."
The company claims that just two per cent of accidents recorded on SmartWitness cameras result in disputed claims.
Increasing numbers of private motorists are also using them to guard against "cash for crash" fraudsters and reduce insurance premiums.
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