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Two-thirds of motorists believe driver should remain in control

IAM RoadSmart – formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists – conducted an independent survey of 1,000 British motorists and a separate poll among its 92,000 members.

The research also found that 53% of participants think that the focus should be on making drivers safer – not just cars.

Members of IAM RoadSmart welcome the hi-tech advances which are improving vehicle safety, but want to maintain their control of a car – even though autonomous technology will be able to do it for them.

The IAM announcement comes just a day after Volvo announced it's to embark on the UK's “largest and most ambitious driverless car trials in 2017”.

Sarah Sillars OBE, chief executive of IAM RoadSmart, said: “Technological advances that make driving and riding safer for all road users have to be embraced whole-heartedly – but British motorists and our members, do want the right to drive.

“Intelligent cars will deliver a step change in road safety by targeting the human errors we make from time-to-time. At IAM RoadSmart we believe a well-trained driver and an ever-vigilant car is a win-win scenario for the future.

“This technology will also prove to be a major boost for business and keep UK PLC at the very edge of technological advance.

“IAM RoadSmart is the leading specialist in the interaction between human and machine and will play a significant role in this fundamental shift – which will see UK roads the safest, most business friendly and connected in the world.

“The Government is due to consult this summer on how the UK can lead the development of autonomous vehicles; we are ready, willing and able to participate fully in this discussion.

“One could see a time when motorists might be restricted to driving on designated roads – and possibly just for pleasure rather than for work or getting from A to B.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.