Editorial

Is This What People Really Think About Driverless Cars?

Recent survey proves some interesting insights.

Since Carbuzz’s last article about self-driving cars,cheapcarinsurance.net has released the results of a 2,000-person survey broughton by Fractl, a content marketing agency based in Florida. The results are amix of typical, boring and intriguing. To recap, the previous article talkedabout a lot of hypothetical scenarios including what a driverless car would dofaced with certain choices, specifically hitting a deer or swerving, hitting atree or going off of a cliff, and hitting a pedestrian or risking the “driver,” among others.

“The team at CheapCarInsurance.net spends a lot of time thinking about driver behavior and safety,” the website’s Spokesman Anthony King told us. “Those elements directly influence the insurance rate comparisons we offer consumers every day.” The results of the survey prove some standards will need to be taken into account when making a driverless car. It may be fair to assume that considering the times we’re living in there’s not a lot of sense to allow driverless cars to share the same road with cars that still use human pilots, given the risks. For a car hitting an obstacle (deer) or swerving, potentially putting the passenger in danger, 85 percent of males said they would hit the obstacle over endangering themselves.

Whereas 73 percent of women said they would hit the obstacle. In almost the same vein 14 percent of men confessed to plowing into a crowd, as opposed to only 11 percent of women. A very interesting question came up on the survey that asked as to whether or not people would trust the A.I. of a driverless vehicle. Almost 45 percent said they would not trust the vehicle, which is interesting. A.I. is known to only operate within its programming, so in a sense 45 percent of people don’t trust the programmers of the car. In the way of driverless cars steering the driving world towards a safer environment, almost 40 percent of the people who took the survey would prefer a perfect world where no one is in danger.

“These cars aim to provide transportation without human direction (or error),” King said. “So we wanted to explore some of the interesting implications of that disruption.” There’s a general sense of untrustworthiness when it comes to letting a computer take the wheel. The majority of people who took the survey said they were mildly uncomfortable with a car making the decisions, and to further solidify this distrust almost 74 percent of people said that in the event of an accident, the company that made the driverless car should be at fault. Thankfully there was a bottom line to all of these numbers, and the question was very simple: Would you get in a car that avoided accidents but put the passenger at risk?

Some said no, some said yes, but the majority said they were unsure. It seems the bottom line to all of this is the technology simply isn’t good enough yet for the average Joe to trust it, and until it is good enough letting natural selection take its course might be the best option.

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