Technology

Automakers Don't Care That People Don't Trust Self-Driving Cars

The survey results are coming in.

We need to be honest with ourselves: the era of autonomous vehicles will soon begin. In fact, it already has. Automakers and major technology companies such as Google and Apple are all heavily investing in the technology, and there’s not going to be any slowdown. According to a new IHS Automotive study, sales of self-driving vehicles are now expected to reach nearly 21 million by 2035, an even higher number than previously predicted.

In fact, "global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025," states IHS director of research, Egil Juliussen, Ph.D. As first reported by The Detroit Bureau, the decade between 2025 and 2035 will see the most substantial growth for autonomous driving tech. But here’s the thing: a few surveys are showing that the public doesn’t trust the technology. One survey asked Americans what level of automation they would want in their cars. Only 15.5% of the 618 respondents said they’d like something with self-driving capabilities. 38.7% were OK with partially self-driving vehicles, while 45.8% said they didn’t want any autonomous tech at all. But are these reactions unique only to Americans? No.

A UK survey asked 2,002 people their thoughts about autonomous tech, and only 21% responded that they’d be willing to ride in a driverless car. And yet, despite the numbers, companies are moving at full speed ahead to get autonomous cars on the road. How come? Because they believe we’re about to enter a new era of personal mobility. Another issue is what will those future driverless cars be like, meaning will they even have a steering wheel, brakes, and a gas pedal to allow drivers to take control in some sort of an emergency, or be nothing more than a couple of bench seats with an emergency stop button? GM is going with the former while Google the latter. Regardless, falling asleep behind the wheel will soon become a safe thing.

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