Though self-driving car technology is continuing to evolve, many Americans still fear for their personal safety when it comes to vehicular automation, AAA’s annual survey results show.
The AAA autonomous driving survey found that about 71 percent of people are afraid to ride in a fully self-automated car. Officials say these statistics could be a result of the several high-profile incidents involving self-driving test vehicles in the last year.
Other factors affecting consumers’ concerns include the “steady stream of information regarding self-driving cars, much of which has either been negative or overly hyped,” the report states.
“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, as a result, it is affecting how consumers feel about it,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Having the opportunity to interact with partially or fully automated technology will help remove some of the mystery for consumers and open the door for greater acceptance.”
The ever-expanding range of autonomous driving applications also impacts consumers’ perception of safety, the survey found.
For example, about 53 percent of those surveyed are comfortable with rides that are low-speed and short distance, such as airport or theme park transportation. Furthermore, about 44 percent are comfortable with self-driving vehicles for food or package delivery convenience.
But when it comes to more critical applications, such as transporting a loved one, one in five have reservations or safety concerns.
AAA urges drivers to educate themselves regarding the range of autonomous driving technology becoming available.
“The more drivers understand both the benefits and limitations of the technology that is currently available, the more prepared and receptive they will be for the experience of riding in a fully automated vehicle when the time comes,” the report states.
For more information about AAA’s annual autonomous driving survey, click here .
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