How safe are driverless cars?

People worldwide say they’d prefer that driverless cars kill the elderly rather than the young in unavoidable collisions, but would anyone use driverless cars in the first place?

Driverless car
A driverless car in London.

Recent research by the MIT Media Lab asked people who they thought should be saved in an unavoidable crash involving a driverless car.

In general people think that driverless cars should save the largest number of lives possible in a collision, and should protect the young over the old and humans over pets.

But how comfortable are people with the idea of driverless cars in the first place? We asked the public what they thought of driverless cars and how safe they thought they were.

Nathan Smith, Student.

Nathan Smith.

I haven’t really heard much of driverless cars. I think the idea of cars without drivers seems very uncanny.

Rabab Ghazoul, Cultural Organiser

Rabab Ghazoul.

This kind of technology doesn’t go out there without it functioning properly and I’m sure there might be accidents but I suppose that will reflect the kind of accidents that happen within the motor driven vehicles.

Sidney White, Imports and Exports

Sidney White.

Yeah, I would (accept a lift in a driverless car). I think it’s really cool, I’m hoping the mechanics work and the sensors and everything.

Neil Davy, Marketing

Neil Davy.

I think technology has come in leaps and bounds, I guess the question is there, technology vs human beings. I should imagine there’s a fair argument in its (technologies) favour.

David Evans, Consultant

David Evans.

It’s like autopilot on planes mistakes happen but I think eventually there’ll be less mistakes with driverless cars than with common mistakes. I think driverless cars are going to be closer than we think.

Yvonne Bonter, Retired

Yvonne Bonter.

I’d probably hesitate (before crossing in front of a driverless car), I’d probably hover near the pavement and make sure it stopped first.