78 percent of Americans are afraid to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, according to the latest study.
Autonomous cars are a hot topic right now in the auto industry, as manufacturers are making a big push to convince the public that self-driving cars will make our roads safer. Whether we want them, however, is another matter entirely. Despite being designed to reduce traffic accidents, a new study from AAA shows that 78 percent of Americans would be afraid to hand over control to a self-driving car. This finding stems from a survey conducted earlier this year with 1,012 people.
It also shows that people's reservations about the technology haven't changed – the results are no different to the same survey from last year. "There really is a disconnect," said Greg Brannon, director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. "If you break it down, we're losing 100 people per day on our roads, equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every week. Nobody would think to fly under those circumstances, right? We'd be in a horrible situation. Yet traffic fatalities continue at this rate, and here's a technology that holds the promise of making the roads safer. But people have a fear."
The survey also revealed that 54 percent of American drivers "feel less safe at the prospect of sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle" – but this may become a reality sooner rather than later. Contradicting this reveal, 59 percent of participants said they would want autonomous driver assists, such as automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assists, in their next car. Such safety features are becoming increasingly standard with certain manufacturers. Clearly, though, people have an inherent fear of handing over complete control to an autonomous car, and it's going to be an uphill struggle for automakers to convince consumers about the safety benefits.