Autonomous cars becoming part of everyday life is a situation that is drawing ever closer, but it seems the end of the driven car may not be as close.
Mazda recently commissioned a study to find out whether or not people would still want to drive even if their cars could drive autonomously.
According to the study it seems as though most drivers would still want to be able to drive their own cars, even with self-driving technology available.
The research, carried out by research firm Ipsos MORI, revealed that 71 per cent of people said they would still want to drive themselves, while only 29 percent would actively welcome the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
Three-quarters still want to drive autonomous cars themselves.
Mazda believes driving is a skill that people want to keep, it is an activity that can be fun as well as functional and many would like to see this skill retained for future generations.
The research also reveals a significant emotional connection between car and driver as demonstrated by the following statistics, 70 per cent of drivers questioned “hoped that future generations will continue to have the option to drive cars”, while 62 per cent of respondents stated that they have driven “just for fun” and 81 per cent of those who enjoy driving saying it is because it “gives them independence”.
Instead of completely autonomous vehicles, Mazda’s opinion is that autonomous car technology should act as a co-pilot that is primarily used to avoid accidents, not take the pleasure away from the act of driving.
Mazda UK Managing Director Jeremy Thomson said, “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.”
But it’s clear that drivers, well three quarters of them, aren’t quite interested in relinquishing control to an automated system just yet.
Data from the consumer research conducted by Ipsos MORI was based on an online survey conducted among adults across 11 European markets (UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, with a minimum of 1000 surveys in each market). All interviews were conducted between 7–22 September 2017.