The results of the survey are surprising to automakers and technology companies that are developing self-driving (autonomous) vehicles.
Many businesses promote the introduction of autonomous cars as a way to increase roadway safety. Yet, according to the survey, most Americans are afraid of self-driving technology and fear they may be less safe than traditional vehicles.
The AAA survey indicated that the majority of respondents are not willing to use self-driving vehicles, regardless of the purported safety and reliability of the technology that makes the vehicles possible.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said they were generally fearful of riding in an autonomous vehicle, and 40 percent said they were hesitant to use the technology that makes self-driving vehicles possible. Respondents cited the automatic emergency breaking feature as one technological advancement they were particularly fearful of using.
Many of those who expressed reluctance about using autonomous vehicles claimed lack of trust in the technology as their primary concern.
Self-driving cars have been involved in various accidents since they were first introduced in 2009. Last month, a Google driverless car was responsible for causing an accident in Mountain View, CA. The vehicle struck a transit bus while maneuvering around sandbags in the road.
The overall reluctance denoted by the AAA survey could show manufacturers that people do not want self-driving cars, and it could potentially bring the self-driving vehicle movement to a halt.
While reluctance and fear were heavily indicated in the survey, not all respondents were opposed to using self-driving vehicles. The survey also showed that drivers who currently have some form of autonomous safety system in their vehicles are more accepting and willing to endorse the technology.
Many millennials who were surveyed expressed a desire to use autonomous vehicles for convenience and to utilize the latest vehicle technology. Baby boomers stated that the self-driving cars would most likely have a positive impact on safety, which would be their top reason for purchasing one. Additionally, the majority of women surveyed said they felt autonomous vehicles would help to reduce roadway stress.
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