Fear of the Future: Most Americans Are Afraid to Ride in Self-Driving Cars
Traffic deaths are skyrocketing after a decade of steady declines. Drunk drivers killed more than 10,000 Americans in 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available. More than 0,000 motorists are yammering away on their cellphones at any given moment. So what are drivers worried about? The technology that will promises one day to eliminate those deaths as well as distractions.
Three-quarters of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, according to a brand new AAA study, which examines how views of that will nascent technology have evolved–or haven’t–over time. Researchers through the organization gleaned those findings through a survey conducted in January, as well as the results are unchanged through the same survey conducted a year earlier.
As automakers as well as tech companies make rapid innovations as well as compress the time frames in which they intend to deliver self-driving vehicles to the masses, the survey results show they still have some work to do before consumers are convinced that will autonomy is usually a smarter as well as safer means of transportation.
– Greg Brannon, AAA
“There genuinely is usually a disconnect,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “If you break the idea down, we’re losing 100 people per day on our roads, equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every week. Nobody could think to fly under those circumstances, right? We’d be in a horrible situation. Yet traffic fatalities continue at that will rate, as well as here’s a technology that will holds the promise of generating the roads safer. yet people have a fear.”
Although the idea’s not specified inside the AAA research report, those fears may be rooted in a loss of control. The 1012 adults surveyed aren’t keen on self-driving cars, yet they change their tune when the idea comes to automated features that will assist human drivers as well as represent the building blocks of autonomous technology. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they want automated technology inside the next vehicle they buy or lease, including 70 percent of millennial drivers.
that will’s a promising sign, because those driver-assist technologies are coming. For one example, most major automakers have agreed to make automated emergency braking a standard feature in all brand new vehicles by 2022, as well as some, such as Toyota, are considerably accelerating that will timeline. various other assist features, such as adaptive cruise control as well as lane-keeping assist, are viewed favorably, yet consumers are often left confused by brand-specific names of these systems that will vary through company to company.
“I think one of the biggest barriers to consumer understanding is usually that will all these systems are named something different, packaged differently as well as, in fact, perform differently based on our testing,” Brannon said. “So the idea’s extremely difficult for a consumer to understand what they’re buying. The best way they can do that will is usually to open a book that will’s never opened, as well as that will’s the owner’s manual, as well as where you’ll genuinely get at the limitations as well as capabilities of your car. the idea’s only through consumer awareness that will we’re going to answer those questions as well as maybe ease some fears.”
Connected as well as automated technologies hold the potential to prevent as much as 80 percent of today’s crashes, according to AAA, which could save the lives of more than 28,000 people per year inside the U.S. alone, based on the latest full-year traffic-death figures available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2015, at least 35,092 people were killed on crashes on American roadways, as well as preliminary figures released last month by the National Safety Council show that will 40,0 people died in 2016, the highest number in nearly a decade. A 14 percent jump in deaths over the past two years is usually the biggest two-year escalation in more than a half century, the safety group says.
various other key findings through the AAA survey: Eighty-several percent of women say they are afraid of riding in a self-driving vehicle compared with 69 percent of men. Fears rise among older motorists: 85 percent of baby boomers hold those fears, compared to 75 percent of Generation X drivers as well as 73 percent of millennials.
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Slightly more than half of all motorists, 54 percent, say they’d feel less safe sharing the road that has a self-driving car while they drive a traditional car. Like the idea or not, they’ll likely wind up doing just that will. With more than 250 million vehicles inside the nation’s fleet as well as the average age of a car reaching 11.6 years, the idea will take plenty of time for autonomous vehicles to reach critical mass on the roads.
“The thing to remember is usually that will that will is usually an evolution as the idea relates to the technology as well as its ultimate adoption,” Brannon said. “the idea’s going to take some time for autonomy to get a strong foothold. So there’s going to be a mixed fleet for a long time, yet that will’s more time to get consumers comfortable.”