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40 percent Indians will be too scared in a self-driving car to be productive, says study

Self-driving cars are almost here, but a study claims that Indians aren't quite ready for the transition.

  • Published: September 18, 2016 11:22 AM IST
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Self-driving cars are the future, and they clearly have an edge over standard cars when it comes to safety and mobility. But a study is trying to find if Indians are ready for it for these innovations. The study asks the question — “What would people do when they are travelling in a self-driving car?” While being free of driving should ideally let one do other productive activities, but researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle said that nearly 40 percent of Indians said they would be so apprehensive that they would not attempt any activities in such vehicles. Also Read - Elon Musk says Tesla cars will become robotaxis like combination of Uber, Airbnb: Musk

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“An average occupant of a light-duty vehicle spends about an hour a day travelling that could potentially be put to more productive use,” said Sivak, research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. “Indeed, increased productivity is one of the expected benefits of self-driving vehicles,” he added in a statement from the university. But the study found that fear would preclude any productive activity among 40 percent of those surveyed in India, while nearly 50 percent of Indians said that, as they would not be involved in distracting activities, there is likely to be an increase in the frequency and severity of motion sickness. Also Read - New study focuses on who a driverless car should save in an accident

Of the 60 percent who said they would take advantage of their travel time, about 10 percent said they would read, 15 percent would text or talk with family and friends, nearly five per cent would sleep, 12 percent would watch movies or TV, 16 percent would work and two percent would play games. ALSO READ: Uber s self-driving cars hit the road in Pittsburgh

Of those surveyed in the US, 23 percent indicated they would not ride in such vehicles, 36 percent — a figure almost similar to India — said they would be so apprehensive in such vehicles that they would only watch the road. Further, nearly eight percent said they would frequently experience some level of motion sickness.

The study suggested that increased productivity in self-driving vehicles would materialize only after the confidence levels of the occupants rises. An occupant would be more interested in performing productive tasks while riding in such vehicles if the inherent motion-sickness problem is addressed and occupant-protection issues related to non-traditional seating positions and postures are solved. The researchers also noted that short-duration trips would help least in increasing the productivity. DON’T MISS: Move over Google and Ford; Indian man builds himself a self-driving Tata Nano

  • Published Date: September 18, 2016 11:22 AM IST
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