Self-driving cars promise to bring increased safety, comfort and speed to our roads. Unfortunately, we can’t have nice things in this world without a bunch of jerks/BMW drivers ruining it for us.

The London School of Economics and Goodyear conducted a study into social attitudes to self-driving technology, and the results will only shock you if you haven’t driven in bad rush-hour traffic. Drivers who are more “combative” will welcome the adoption of self-driving technology, because they assume it will be easier to “bully” self-driving cars than actual humans.

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Self-driving cars will be programmed to avoid accidents, just as they should be. So given the choice between driving timidly or causing an accident just to prove a point, the self-driving car will slam on the brakes every time. The more aggressive drivers in this survey said that they’d treat self-driving cars like “learner drivers” and “mug them right off”, which is a roundabout British way to describe driving like a jerk.

“I’ll be overtaking all the time because they’ll be sticking to the rules,” one respondent said.  Another answered: “tTey are going to stop. So you’re going to mug them right off. They’re going to stop and you’re just going to nip round.”

The depressing headline masks a deeper problem with the adoption of self-driving cars: at present, efficient driving in traffic relies on human intuition to guess what other cars are going to do. It’s difficult to read the positioning of a car and work out if it’s going to let you in. Imagine the difficulty you have, as an experienced driver, going to a different culture in a rent-a-car and trying to learn the unspoken rules of the road. For a machine to try and do the same is even harder.

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.