Should the driving age reduce when autonomous cars arrive?
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Autonomous cars will be coming to a road near you soon, but should there be age restrictions on who is sat at the controls?
A new survey of motorists has asked if the legal age to take a driving test should be lowered once autonomous cars become mainstream - finding that three in five are against the idea.
That's despite 88 per cent of those quizzed saying the test will need to be adapted to take into account the introduction of self-driving vehicles.
Car servicing provider Servicing Stop asked 1,100 active motorists if they think the age limit for the UK driving licence should be reduced once autonomous cars become more common place on our streets.
Some 41 per cent backed the idea, which would see the existing minimum test age dropped from 17 years.
It could mean that younger teenagers would be able to drive alone in a car, but only those with the ability to take control and override the decisions of the individual behind the wheel.
The legal driving age is just one area of debate intertwined with the introduction of autonomous vehicles.
Last year, the Queen called for the development of a 'Modern Transport Bill' to accommodate vehicles of the future, focussed mainly on the role of insurance.
British insurers, as part of the Automated Driving Insurer Group, have already discussed how autonomous vehicle policies would look - and how blame would be placed in the event of a collision involving a semi-autonomous car, especially in a situation when the driver and technology are in a handover phase.
At the moment, the Department of Transport suggests that liability for a vehicle functioning in autonomous mode rests with the car manufacturer, but when a driver regains control the responsibility is back in their hands.
However, when systems become more developed and self-driving features are used for longer driving periods it remains undecided if liability lies with the vehicle owner, car maker or autonomous-driving system provider.
According to the new research, many believe it's an issue that won't need resolving any time soon.
Half of the panel said they didn't expect to see self-driving cars takeover the UK road network for at least 25 years. That's compared to just two per cent who said driverless cars would dominate the road in five year's time.
Despite this, 88 per cent said changes will need to be made to the current driving test to accommodate autonomous features, ensuring that new motorists understand how to use the technology appropriately.
Almost two thirds of those surveyed also said they'd prefer new drivers to use autonomous vehicles as soon as they pass their driving test, due to the reduced risk of having an accident compared to a traditional car.
CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: 'There have been massive developments in the automotive industry with regards to autonomous vehicles recently.
'Bringing down the age limit in keeping with a move to autonomous vehicles could see more people on the roads, but whether or not the roads will be safer is still up for discussion.'
What motorists think about the introduction of autonomous cars
Q: How long do you think it will take for ALL cars to become autonomous?
21 - 25 years - 50%
16 - 20 years - 14%
11 - 15 years - 25%
6 - 10 years - 9%
1 - 5 years - 2%
Q: Given that autonomous cars are considered safer to drive given their ability to stick to road law, if a 17-year old had just passed their test and both cars were the same price, would you rather they drove?
An autonomous car - 63%
A conventional, human-driven car - 38%
Q: Do you think future driving tests will include a section on how to control an autonomous car?
Yes - 88%
No - 12%
Q: If all cars were to become autonomous, do you think the age limit on driving should decrease?
Source: Servicing Stop based on a survey of 1,100 UK drivers