Kuinka turvallisia automaattisten autojen on oltava?

Translated title of the contribution: How safe must automated cars be?

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The objective of this study was to investigate the attitudes of drivers and specialists (such as government officials) towards the use of automated cars in Finland. The primary question was that of how safe respondent groups felt that automated road traffic would need to be, compared to the current situation, for it to be an acceptable mode of transport. Car drivers’ opinions on automation were investigated using an online survey. The survey data was collected in August 2018. Survey respondents had to be active car drivers. The final dataset contained responses from 1154 drivers. Specialists were sent an email link to the online questionnaire. A total of 22 specialists responded, representing a variety of different traffic safety and traffic automation bodies including government authorities, ministries and other organisations working in the field of traffic automation and traffic safety, such as research institutes and universities.
    Almost without exception, the specialists had a positive attitude towards automated driving, whereas there were clear differences of opinion among drivers. The majority of drivers did not believe that travelling in a self-driving car is currently safer than driving a car oneself. In fact, it was estimated that automation would make the driving slightly more dangerous. Drivers also
    did not have similar assessments of what an acceptable safety level for self-driving cars would be. Instead, the assessments were quite evenly spread: 50% felt that the safety level would be sufficient only if the number of deaths or serious injuries would decrease by at least half from the current level. The responses of specialists regarding the acceptable safety level were located mostly at the high-end of the scale. Nearly half of them stated, in line with the traffic
    safety division, that no one should die or be seriously injured on the road. On the other hand, a quarter of respondents accepted the target that traffic safety would remain at its current level. In other words, increased traffic safety was not for them one of the central goals of automation.
    Specialists also estimated how much the automation of road traffic in Finland would decrease the numbers of deaths and serious injuries on the road. The expectations expressed for the near future were very moderate. Significant improvements were expected to take place only after 20 to 50 years. The specialists gave higher estimates than drivers of the benefits that will
    come from self-driving cars. Drivers considered the most credible benefits to be better fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and increased travel comfort. For specialists, on the other hand, the most likely benefits were improved safety, better fuel efficiency, and lower insurance costs. Drivers were most concerned about self-driving cars getting confused in unexpected situations, the car’s functioning in bad weather conditions, and breakdowns. Specialists were most concerned about interaction with pedestrians, cyclists and non-automated vehicles. The impact of weather conditions on automated driving and the threat of hacking were also of considerable concern to specialists.
    Drivers were noticeably more concerned than specialists about the different modes of automated transport. They were most concerned about self-driving lorries and trucks and about large-scale unmanned aircraft. Two other large areas of concern were letting children be driven by a self-driving car and travelling in a self-driving car without any controls. Specialists, on the other hand, were most concerned about children travelling alone in a self-driving car and large scale unmanned aircraft. Only 22% of drivers were either very interested or somewhat interested in owning or leasing an entirely self-driving car. As interest in automated cars was low, it is not surprising that around two thirds of respondents were not willing to pay more for an automated car than for a normal car.
    Translated title of the contributionHow safe must automated cars be?
    Original languageFinnish
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    PublisherLiikenne- ja viestintävirasto Traficom
    Number of pages35
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-311-290-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesTraficomin tutkimuksia ja selvityksiä


    • automated car
    • automated driving
    • traffic safety
    • questionnaire survey


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