Last year, 35% males favoured self-driving vehicles but this year that figure dropped to 29%; for women the figures were 22% in 2017 and 17% this year.
The survey found that more motorists wanted the latest features that assist drivers to stay within their lanes, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
A total of 18,010 Victorians were surveyed this year; the 2017 survey obtained data from 15,047 drivers.
Some other findings:
- The desirability of hybrid and fully electric cars has increased further, with hybrid power now rivalling traditional petrol combustion.
- More motorists think it’s unfair that electric vehicles avoid fuel tax compared to those who think it’s fair.
- More motorists think fuel tax should be replaced by a per-kilometre road use charge compared to those who prefer the status quo.
- The majority of motorists think any future road use charge should provide a discount for electric vehicles to encourage take-up.
A 5.9GHz transceiver installed at an EastLink toll point to test vehicle to infrastructure communications.
EastLink corporate affairs and marketing manager Doug Spencer-Roy said the drop in the number favouring fully self-driven vehicles indicated that expectations had been over-inflated by hype, and people were now returning to reality.
Thirty-seven percent of females and 28% of men wanted a 100% safety guarantee before agreeing to use a fully self-driving car. “When it comes to minimum acceptable safety, a significant proportion of people have unrealistic, unachievable expectations, which will be a significant hurdle for the autonomous vehicle industry to overcome,” Spencer-Roy said.
Regarding the favouring of other features, Spencer Roy said: "EastLink anticipates that widespread adoption and use of the latest safety and driver assistance features — such as lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking — will significantly improve road safety by reducing the number and severity of crashes.
“These survey results support EastLink’s expectation that these features will become commonplace before fully autonomous vehicles.”