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Continental study uncovers mixed feelings about automated driving in Germany

According to the Continental Mobility Study 2018, German drivers are ambivalent about automated driving.

While around two thirds would prefer to be chauffeured electronically through stressful traffic jam situations or narrow roadworks on the highway, the number of people who doubt the technical reliability of the technology has risen from 48 to 57 percent in the last five years.

Just under two thirds of respondents express anxieties about automated driving – compared with around half five years ago. Accidents that occurred during test drives in the USA have likely played a role in this.

“The results of our mobility study show that trust in new technologies for the mobility of the future is of enormous importance. New developments must therefore be introduced onto the roads in a responsible way,” said Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart ahead of the publication of the study’s results.

“The technologies have to be safe, robust and reliable. Our industry has to become even better at explaining that automated driving is being developed gradually and not in a revolutionary way.

“Furthermore, many drivers are completely unaware that accident figures are already being drastically reduced by current driver assistance systems such as emergency brake assist, blind spot warning systems and lane-keeping assistants. As understanding increases, so too does acceptance,” .

The Continental Mobility Study 2013 showed that drivers who had experience of driver assistance systems also had a more positive view of automated driving.

For those who have had a chance to experience how reliably emergency brake assist functions in their own car, for instance, the fundamental question of whether automated driving works was already settled five years ago.