Americans Slowly Warming Up To Self-Driving Cars

37% report not afraid to ride in one

Richard Root
January 24, 2018 - 4:27 am
Self-driving car.

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Amherst, NY (WBEN) - A new survey released by the American Automobile Association shows fear of self-driving vehicles slowly easing among Americans.  However, the number of people who report being afraid of riding in a self-driving vehicle is still in the overwhelming majority at 63%.

That number has shifted from a similar survey last year where 78% reported feeling afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle.

When the numbers are broken down, millennial and male drivers are the most trusting. 

Only 49% of millennials (down from 73%) report that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. While the majority of baby boomers (68%) still report being afraid to ride in a self-driving car, this generation is significantly more comfortable with the idea than they were a year ago, when 85% reported being afraid.

Women (73%) are more likely than men (52%) to be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55% versus 36%).

When it comes to sharing the road, drivers remain leery of self-driving vehicles. In AAA’s survey, only 13% of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while nearly half (46%) would actually feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37%) or unsure (4%).

Baby boomers (54%) and Generation X (47%) drivers are more likely than millennial drivers (34 percent) to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car.

Other findings include: U.S. drivers report high confidence in their own driving abilities. Despite the fact that more than 90% of crashes involve human error, three-quarters (73%) of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers. Men, in particular, are confident in their driving skills with 8 in 10 considering their driving skills better than average.

In the AAA's release, they urge the automobile and technology industries to invest in educating Americans "on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies".  They may want to start that endeavor by high-lighting the difference between auto-pilot and a fully automatic vehicle.

For further reading, this article discusses the dangers of auto-pilot.

This article shows a scenario where a fully autonomous vehicle was involved in an accident.

 

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