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A Department for Transport report has found that awareness and knowledge of new automotive technologies is rising, with understanding of electric vehicles, safety technology and electric scooters and e-bikes all on the rise.

The newly-rele3ased figured relate to work carried out in June 2019, and claimed knowledge of electric vehicles among the 3578-person survey pool – classed as they knew “a lot or a fair amount about EVs” was at 72%, compared with 65% in December 2018. The number that knew “a lot” rose from 4% to 8%, while the number professing to know “a fair amount” went from 17% to 23%. All bar 6% of the pool said they had heard of electric vehicles.

In terms of the advantages of electric vehicles, 68% identified an environmental benefit while 31% saw an economy or cost benefit and 17% said they were less noisy. Just under 10% said there are no advantages. On the flip-side, 38% said understanding where and how to recharge was a disadvantage, a number matched by those expressing concern about the vehicle’s range. 30% said there aren’t enough charge points, while 24% flagged up the cost of EVs. AN area of increase was the number of people intending their next vehicle to be electric, which went from 5% in December 2018 to 8% in June 2019. That compared with 45% saying petrol, 20% saying diesel and 1% stating hybrid, respectively changing from 51%, 22% and 17% in the previous survey.

For autonomous vehicles, 86% of those surveyed said they were aware of fully driverless or self-driving vehicles, with 59% claiming knowledge of the technology, up from a respective 83% and 53% for the previous survey six months earlier.

The research also looked at driver assistance features, with 74% of respondents aware of at least one piece of assistance technology. Automated parking topped the list, named by 63% of respondents, ahead of in-car wifi (56%), stop-start (55%), adaptive cruise control (53%) and automatic emergency braking (50%). Less than half the survey population were aware of lane assist, remote control parking, traffic jam assist and driver feedback tech.

Only 34% of respondents had used assistance technology, with stop-start and adaptive cruise control those most frequently identified. Usage of adaptive cruise control rose by three percentage points to 22% of the respondents.

The number of people stating “strongly” that they need a car or van due to the their lifestyle took a drop from 71% in December 2018 to 66% in June 2019, although overall 87% agreed that their lifestyle meant they need to own a car or van and 95% of respondents said they enjoy the freedom and independence they get from a vehicle.


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