Overwhelmingly, those surveyed said they loved driving and wanted to remain behind the wheel.
There’s also a sense among many motorists that driverless cars are science fiction. More than 40 per cent of people surveyed think the widespread adoption of AVs won’t happen for more than 20 years, with some suggesting even 50 years.
But RACV’s manager of vehicle engineering, Michael Case, says autonomous vehicles are coming sooner than many of us think and urges Victorian motorists to prepare themselves.
“The infrastructure and legislation are not ready yet, but motorists could be sharing the road with driverless AVs in less than five years,” he says.
“We already have early-stage AVs available now that provide some automated driver assistance, but it is difficult to predict when driverless vehicles will be allowed on our roads.”
He says while RACV members surveyed were concerned that AVs will cause accidents, researchers believe they will make our roads safer as the vehicles’ built-in systems can detect and prevent collisions.
“Older motorists are most concerned about the arrival of AVs, but they could be the biggest beneficiaries with the advanced technology keeping them mobile for longer,” says Michael.
Regardless of when AVs are rolled out, the “overriding sentiment from RACV’s research into AVs is that very few drivers are willing to give up driving completely”.
He says the Society of Automotive Engineers International describes six levels of automation: Levels 0 to 2, where the driver is constantly in control, even if some automation is working, and Levels 3 to 5 which mean you are not driving when automated features are engaged. The video below explains the differences in levels of automation.