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Americans want self-driving connected car tech but are afraid of fully autonomous

The Automobile Club reports that a majority  U.S. drivers want autonomous technologies in their next vehicle, but they are still afraid of fully self-driving cars.

Even though autonomous vehicles are expect to will be safer, more efficient and more convenient than their human-driven counterparts, three-quarters of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a self-driving car, and only 10 percent report that they’d actually feel safer sharing the roads with driverless vehicles. Because automakers are pushing for self-driving tech, AAA suggests the gradual, safe introduction of these technologies to ensure that American drivers are informed, prepared and comfortable with this shift in mobility.

In 2016, a AAA survey found that three-quarters of Americans reported feeling afraid to ride in a self-driving car. One year later, a new AAA survey found that fear is unchanged. However the survey also found that the majority (59%) of Americans are keen to have autonomous features in their next vehicle. AAA suggests the finding indicates that American drivers are ready embrace autonomous technology, but they are not yet ready to give up full control.

“U.S. drivers may experience the driver assistance technologies in their cars today and feel they don’t work consistently enough to replace a human driver – and they’re correct,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. . “While these technologies will continue to improve over time, it’s important that consumers understand that today’s systems require your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”

  • Three‐quarters of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a self‐driving vehicle, while 19 percent would trust the vehicle and 4 percent are unsure.
  • Women (85%) are more likely to be afraid than men (69%).
  •  Baby Boomers (85%) are more likely to be afraid than Millennials (73%) and Generation X (75%) drivers.
  • One‐half (54%) of drivers would feel less safe sharing the road with self‐driving cars while they drive a regular car. One‐third (34%) feel itmakes no difference, 10 percent would feel safer and 2 percent are unsure.
  • Women (58%) are more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self‐driving vehicle than men (49%).
  • Baby Boomers (60%) and Generationn X (56%) are more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self‐driving vehicle than
    Millennial drivers (41%).
  • Six out of ten (59%) drivers want autonomous technology in the next vehicle they buy or lease, 25 percent would not want the technology and 16 percent may or may not want the technology.
  •  Millennial drivers (70%) are more likely to want this technology in the next vehicle than Generation X (54%) or Baby Boomers (51%).
  • Eight in ten (81%) drivers feel autonomous systems should all work the same way, regardless of who the vehicle manufacturer is.
  • The majority (59%) of U.S. drivers want autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicle, while the remainder do not (25%) or are unsure (16%).

However the technology that leads to AV (autonomous vehicle) is highly desirable and wanted by drivers. A majority of American drivers want Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Self-Parking and Land Departure Warning/Lane Keep Assist.

To educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the on-going, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. This variation may be particularly concerning to consumers, with AAA’s survey revealing that 81 percent of Americans feel that automated vehicle systems should all work similarly and consistently across all vehicle manufacturers. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.

 

1 thought on “Americans want self-driving connected car tech but are afraid of fully autonomous”

  1. The Magnificent Ambersons written in 1918 by Booth Tarkington that gives insight in the transition of the horse and buggy age to the automobile age. There was a lot of anxiety during that transition as well.

    Here is the actual quote from the book (if you go to my blog, I have a link to a 1940s movie with the dialog). I think this quote is helpful as our society becomes comfortable with AV technology. It took a while for society to become comfortable with the automobile.

    “George: I said, “Automobiles are a useless nuisance.” Never amount to anything but a nuisance. They had no business to be invented.

    Uncle Jack: Of course, you forget Mr. Morgan makes them. Also did his share in inventing them. If you weren’t so thoughtless, he might think you’re rather offensive.

    Eugene: I’m not sure George is wrong about automobiles. With all their speed forward, they may be a step backward in civilization. It may be that they won’t add to the beauty of the world or the life of men’s souls. I’m not sure. But automobiles have come. And almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They’re going to alter war and they’re going to alter peace. And I think men’s minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles. And it may be that George is right. It may be that in ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn’t be able to defend the gasoline engine but would have to agree with George: that automobiles had no business to be invented.” – The Magnificent Ambersons 1918 novel written by Booth Tarkington

    Before the automobile, we had AV technology. I would argue that “A horse and buggy” was more autonomous driving than the automobile. “The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh, Through the white and drifted snow!” History repeats itself again.
    Autonomous Vehicle, with all their advantages, will not be a step backward in civilization – that they will add to the beauty of the world and the life of men and women’s souls. AV will come and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They’re going to alter war and they’re going to alter peace and I think women and men’s minds are going to be changed in significant ways because of AV. And it may be that in ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in women and men by that time, we will be able to defend AV and be glad that AV has come because of the millions of lives saved and the benefit AV brings to humanity.” paraphrase of a section from The Magnificent Ambersons 1918 novel written by Booth Tarkington.

    This commented was edited to meet community guidelines.

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