71% of consumers believe self-driving cars will drive better than humans or will outperform human drivers in a decade, according to a worldwide consumer survey commissioned by engineering simulation company ANSYS.

The ANSYS Global Autonomous Vehicles Report was commissioned by the company to gauge global consumer perception of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and better understand expectations for the future of travel.

According to the report Japanese respondents were more confident in AVs than the global average, with 38% of respondents believing that AVs are better than human drivers and 83% of respondents believing that autonomous cars will surpass human abilities by 2029.

Chinese respondents were most open to riding in an AV in their lifetime at 97%, while only 57% of respondents from the UK expressed comfort with the idea of riding in an AV.

77% of global respondents would be comfortable riding in an AV at some point during their lifetime, with 87% of respondents aged 18-24 and 88% of respondents aged 25-34 reporting feeling comfortable with AVs. In contrast, 43% of respondents over the age of 65 said they would never ride in an AV.

Making self-driving cars better than humans

Principal research analyst at Navigant Research Sam Abuelsamid said: “Automated driving has been a dream of engineers and travellers since at least the 1950s, but the hardware and software required to make it a practical reality has only approached a sufficient level of maturity in the past decade.”

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By GlobalData

“For automated driving to become a commercial reality that people trust for safe transportation, consumers will need to be convinced that algorithms can consistently drive more reliably than humans. That will require vast amounts of simulation testing to augment hundreds of millions of miles of real-world, on-road evaluation.”

Technology failure was the primary concern for most respondents, with 59% of respondents expressing it as a top concern for autonomous cars and 65% for autonomous planes.

24% of respondents believe that luxury car companies would offer the safest autonomous driving experience, followed by technology companies (20%) and non-luxury brands (16%).

ANSYS vice president and systems business general manager Eric Bantegnie said: “We are at the threshold of a fully autonomous era that will revolutionize global transportation. This report confirms the world’s optimism – but also legitimate concerns – for AVs. To drive worldwide AV adoption, manufacturers must prove the technology is safer and more reliable than humans.”

Read more: Self-driving cars have miles to go before they reach full autonomy, says watchdog