Drivers Don’t Feel Safe With Self-Driving Cars

self-driving car

Americans are very much interested in vehicle technology advances, but they’re increasingly fearful about riding in fully self-driving cars, according to AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey. The results show that 68% of motorists are afraid of self-driving cars, a 13% increase from the year before.

“We were not expecting such a dramatic decline in trust from previous years,” said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Although with the number of high-profile crashes that have occurred from over-reliance on current vehicle technologies, this isn’t entirely surprising.”

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Not only are drivers hesitant to ride in a self-driving car, they’re also not keen on sharing the road with them. A previous AAA survey, produced in collaboration with the Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, found that roughly half of all drivers felt less safe being on the road with a self-driving car.

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legislation allowing the use of self-driving cars on public roads. Surveyed drivers said they would feel safer if there were clear marking that indicated the vehicle is self-driving, as well as designated lanes for such vehicles.

Even with advancements made in recent years, these findings suggest improvements are still needed to build public trust and knowledge surrounding emerging vehicle technology. AAA believes automakers must be diligent in creating an environment that promotes the use of more advanced vehicle technologies in a secure, reliable, and educational manner.

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3 Thoughts on “Drivers Don’t Feel Safe With Self-Driving Cars

  1. I am curious how many drivers hesitant to ride in self-driving cars are also not keen on sharing the road with them. Own a car or light truck (SUV) or regularly drive in a car that has “MOM” or “Collision Avoidance features.”
    Most new cars have active safety systems. How was that considered for the piece on Drivers Don’t Feel Safe With Self-Driving Cars?

  2. To my knowledge there is not yet such a thing as a driverless car on our roadways. I’m a professional pilot and I routinely fly aircraft that can land and decelerate on autopilot, but when I do my hands are on the controls, thumb hovering over the disconnect button. This is how “self-driving” cars need to be operated, with a situationally aware driver. These cars are incredible and continuously improving. We will always be the weak link but as the article emphasized we can improve through education.

  3. Bad enough that on the roads we have drunk drivers and now drivers high on legal marijuana. Now we have to add driverless cars? It’s scarier than ever out there.

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