US Drivers Feel Less Safe with Autonomous Cars

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Autonomous Cars

March 7, 2016—A new AAA survey reveals that U.S. drivers will seek autonomous technologies in their next vehicle, but remain apprehensive about a fully self-driving car.

In 2016, AAA conducted a comprehensive survey to identify motorists fears toward self-driving vehicles, known as Phase I. This survey revealed most drivers trust their driving skills more than the technology (84 percent), followed by feeling the technology is to new and unproven (60 percent), followed by not wanting to pay extra for it (57 percent) and then finding it annoying (45 percent). Phase II of this research provides and overview of the past year, and offer new insights into whether motorists are ready to give up control.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Half (54 percent) of U.S. drivers feel less safe at the prospect of sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle, while one-third (34 percent) feel it wouldn’t make a difference and only 10 percent say they would feel safer.
  • Women (58 percent) are more likely to feel less safe than men (49 percent).
  • Baby boomers (60 percent) are more likely to feel less safe than Generation X (56%) or millennials (41 percent))
  • The majority (59 percent) of U.S. drivers want autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicle, while the remainder do not (25 percent) or are unsure (16 percent).
  • Millennials (70 percent) are the most likely to want the technologies, compared to Generation X (54 percent) and baby boomers (51 percent).
  • Three-quarters (78 percent) of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle.
  • Baby boomers (85 percent) are more likely to be afraid than millennials (73 percent) and Generation X (75 percent) drivers.
  • Women (85 percent) are more likely to be afraid than men (69 percent).

“Consumers should always educate themselves concerning new car technology to fully understand the pros and cons,” said Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for the Auto Club Group, the second largest AAA club in the country. “The key to consumer acceptance will be education. Autonomous vehicle safety features could potentially save lives.”


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