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Driverless Brits could head to the suburbs

Volvo's autonomous driving vision

New research has revealed that 40% of motorists would consider giving up city life for the suburbs if they could avoid congestion by using a driverless vehicle.

According to the Goodyear Tyres UK study into the effects of traffic congestion, nearly half (46%) might also think about changing their job with almost one in 10 (9%) claiming that traffic has caused them to feel the most stressed they have ever been.

It’s no surprise that modern city life is taking its toll. Between April 2016 and March 2017, traffic volumes reached a new record high of 324.3 billion miles in the UK, while driving speeds in some of the UK’s major cities have fallen by up to 20% over the last year.

Nearly two-thirds (58%) of those drivers questioned say they’ve arrived late for work, 37% claim they have sworn, 15% admit to making rude hand gestures and 4% admitted that traffic made them cry.

Clearly motorists are beginning to see the positive side of autonomous vehicles with two in five saying would use a driverless car instead of driving to relax.

Getting stuck in a traffic, however, isn’t all doom-and-gloom for Brits – 28% spend this ‘lost’ time singing in-car karaoke, 26% catch-up with the kids on the back seat and almost a quarter (24%) talk to friends and family via handsfree.

“With autonomous vehicles promising a future where passengers are free to maximise their travel time, it’s no surprise that Brits are willing to give up what can be a hectic city life in favour of a more relaxed commute,” said Kate Rock of Goodyear Tyres.

“The incentives to live in the suburbs look set to increase and could have a significant impact on the make-up of our cities of the future.

“Our research reveals that almost one-in-five motorists believe the main benefit of using a driverless car would be the convenience of not having to park.

“Inadequate parking wastes a fifth of car spaces, so we could end up seeing cities with more parking space, relaxed commuters and as a result, greater levels of wellbeing, simply by taking the stress of parking and commuting away from drivers.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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