Ontario drivers torn over autonomous vehicles

Published: January 8, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Driver-less and autonomous vehicles are a hot topic right now, especially with CES 2016 focusing on the technology and the general consensus pointing to first examples of these vehicles debuting in 2017. The future is approaching and the idea of autonomous vehicles seems to divide opinion in Canada according to one survey.

1,095 people were surveyed by an Ontarian online portal and it found that 25 per cent of Ontarians asked are fine with the idea of driver-less vehicles. Quite closely matched were those who are not convinced by the technology, with 23 per cent seemingly against the age of the autonomous car. As for the remaining 48 per cent, they had not opinion either way.

The majority agree that autonomous vehicles will mean safer roads, with 61 per cent saying the think drunk driving will decrease and 51 per cent believing there will be fewer accidents.

A lowered accident rate is widely predicted by industry experts as statistics show that over 95 per cent of all road collisions are caused by human error. Google, a leading name in autonomous vehicle technology, claims to a have a 100 per cent record and its cars have never had a collision in testing. However, accident rates will likely fall when these vehicles make it to the market, eradication of collisions is not going to happen just yet.

At the moment driver-less vehicles are not entirely autonomous and can still be used by humans, with full autonomy not expected for another decade. So until 2025 humans will still have the final say so to speak, while other drivers not in autonomous modes of travel will also still be on the road.

Long term, a tumbling of accident rates means that auto insurance premiums are likely to fall substantially, so much so that car insurance providers may not even look to the customer for liability. Instead providers will put liability on the shoulders of manufacturers, it is them after-all who are responsible for the vehicles operation and not the human occupant.