Nearly Everyone Is Genuinely Afraid Of Autonomous Cars

Technology / 34 Comments

But there is one age group with no fear.

We're quickly entering the era of autonomous cars and everything, good or bad, that comes with it. But apparently we're not so enthusiastic about that prospect. As it turns out, all age groups save for one are pretty skeptical about self-driving cars. According to a recently published J.D. Power and Associates study, with the exception of Gen Y, those born between 1977 and 1994, people in all age groups are not wild about self-driving technology. This finding obviously represents a real challenge to automakers and technology developers.

"In most cases, as technology concepts get closer to becoming reality, consumer curiosity and acceptance increases," states Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at J.D. Power. But what's really interesting from this study is that the youngest age group surveyed, Generation Z, or those born between 1995 and 2004, are quite skeptical about self-driving tech. The amount who responded "definitely would not" trust self-driving cars increased by 11 percentage points to 22 percent in just a year's time. Plus, another 23 percent declared they "probably would not" trust this tech.

Not at all surprisingly, however, is that Baby Boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, are genuinely not liking self-driving cars – 81 percent responded they would "definitely" or "probably" not trust self-driving tech. That's actually an increase from 77 percent from last year's findings. Furthermore, 40 percent of Baby Boomers don't even see any benefit from self-driving cars. "Automated driving is a new and complex concept for many consumers," Kolodge acknowledges. "They'll have to experience it firsthand to fully understand it."

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