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UK Insights

Driverless cars and drones make us uncomfortable

Claire Davies

Former editor and head of content

Digital 16.06.2015 / 15:40

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Research into our fears about robots

Research into the use of robots has found that generally speaking the majority of Brits (64%) feel positively about them. Most recognise the benefits of robots; however, there is a fear that they will steal people's jobs and need careful management in the future.

A fifth of respondents to the Eurobarometer report by Kantar's TNS Opinion, are interested in buying a robot for their home at some point in the future, but respondents still feel unhappy with the idea of robots performing certain tasks. For example, a majority would feel uncomfortable with the idea of having a robot provide services and companionship to elderly or infirm people (51%), and having a medical operation performed on them by a robot (55%). And just over a quarter of people say they'd feel uncomfortable having a robot assist them in work.

Six out of ten people (59%) say they would feel uncomfortable travelling in an 'autonomous vehicle' (that's a driverless car to me and you!) Slightly more than a third (35%) would feel comfortable or fairly comfortable.

Although a majority (57%) believe that civil drones are an efficient way of transporting and delivering goods, 67% agree that civil drones are a threat to privacy.

The European Commission asked TNS Opinion to conduct research into people's attitudes towards robots as it is aware that some people have concerns about the rapid pace of technological change, and about the role which robots could play in our future society. To read more from the report visit the Eurobarometer website.

Source : Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

This survey was carried out by Kantar's TNS Opinion & Social network in the 28 Member States of the European Union between the 29th of November and 9th of December 2014. In total 1,312 people were questioned in the UK.

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