Only 20 percent said they would be happy to ride in an autonomous car. File photo: Newspress.

Berlin - Only one in five Germans would be happy to ride in an autonomous car, according to a survey by Germany automobile industry monitoring association KueS.

The survey was carried out via Facebook. The organizers say the poll is not representative in statistical terms, but does give an insight into the way drivers in Europe’s most car-focussed country feel about not being in permanent control at the steering wheel.

The survey results were published in the leading automotive trade paper Automobilwoche.

To compile the survey, 1000 respondents were asked four questions related to their trust and confidence in cars capable of driving themselves.

These cars include current models with sophisticated systems designed to help the motorist, warning of dangers and even correcting driving style without being asked.

67 percent said they believe that modern driver assistance systems were a help, with only 33 percent against.

Meanwhile 53 percent said they did not believe autonomous cars were likely to become an everyday reality in the next 10 years. The other 43 percent believed robot cars would be in regular use by 2025.

Six out of ten respondents did not believe that assistance systems could replace human reactions in a potential accident situation. This compared with 40 percent who had faith in the new technology to override manual driving in order to avoid or prevent collisions.

The key question produced a majority negative response which might give food for thought to the advocates of truly autonomous cars without manual control.

Only 20 percent said they would be happy to ride in an autonomous car and had sufficient confidence in the complex technology needed.

More than 80 percent – or 800 of those who took part in the survey – said they wanted to remain firmly in charge as driver.