Driverless cars: would we trust them?

AUTOMATED vehicles are becoming more of a possibility as technology progresses, but researchers are trying to determine whether or not they are a good idea.

At the International Conference on Traffic Transport Psychology held in Brisbane earlier this month, one researcher questioned whether or not people would trust a vehicle to be in complete control.

"Are people going to be willing to have a driverless car take their kids to school?" asked Professor Narelle Haworth of the Queensland University of Technology Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety.

"Are they actually going to still want to drive?"

She said having fully automated cars on the roads could reduce fatalities eventually, but it would take a long time to reach that point.

Prof Haworth said half of the cars on Australia's roads were more than 10 years old.

"If we have cars that are smart, sharing the roads with cars that are not smart … then we have a challenging time ahead of us," she said.

Queensland Police Service assistant commissioner Mike Keating said there would be advantages to automated vehicles, but people needed to concentrate on the issues of today.