We all have such high hopes for the autonomous vehicle, and why not? Whether it’s Tom Cruise dangling from one in Minority Report or Arnie punching a robotic cabbie in Total Recall, driverless cars have been a staple of our pop culture diet for some time, and the chance that they may actually come to life is astonishingly exciting. Yet, will they really make our lives any better?

A recent study found that the majority of respondents felt that connected and autonomous vehicles would directly improve their quality of life. No pressure, of course – but driverless cars have a great deal to live up to if they are to satisfy such heady expectations.

So, why is it that people have such high hopes, and can this exciting new technology fulfil them?

Stress relief

The study, carried out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, found that six in ten people said connected and autonomous vehicles would change their lives for the better.

The number one benefit cited was reduced stress of driving, which makes sense given that lying down in the back of a car as it drives you home would be far more enjoyable than coping with rush hour.

The features that respondents felt would best alleviate stress, however, were automatic parking and braking, though with fears that autonomous vehicles may result in complacency, it’s somewhat alarming to learn that some drivers would like to wash their hands of braking.

Other benefits that people are looking forward to include more time to carry out day-to-day chores, with 47 per cent of survey respondents saying a connected and autonomous vehicle would make it easier for them to manage tasks such as grocery shopping. Indeed, it may even make these tasks quicker to complete – we’ve recently tackled the subject of whether autonomous vehicles could make your journeys shorter, too, and the answer is eventually, yes.

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