In recent years autonomous cars have burst onto the auto scene as an exciting and new venture. The advent of the technology has shed a new light on how we as commuters view cars and getting around. But even though the idea of self-driving cars is exciting, the trust level behind them is still low.
Fears about riding around in a self-driving car have mounted as 2018 has been flooded with news of accidents containing autonomous vehicles with other cars or pedestrians. Even though Millennials are leading the way with warming up to the technology, according to a study by the American Automobile Association, U.S. drivers are still afraid of giving up control to a car in motion.
Numbers Don’t Add Up
The reason why people are still standoffish in regards to stepping inside an autonomous vehicle has to do with the idea that humans feel they’re better drivers. In fact, 90% of crashes happen because of user error, so having technology in place that takes away the human element should be a plus, because it’s potentially solving that issue.
The survey also showed that the number of drivers who want semi-autonomous driving systems in place, such as features that avoid crashes with emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, self-parking technology, and adaptive cruise control, has dropped to 51% from 59% the year before.
Millennials might be the most trusting of self-driving vehicles, but the older generations are leading the way when it comes to skepticism. The rate of Millennials looking at autonomous vehicles favorably has shot up to 73% from 49% in 2017, but 68% of baby boomers are still leary of the tech. This may also have something to do with the latest news coming out of the auto world highlighting crashes and failures.
Where It Goes From Here
In March 2018, an Uber self-driving test vehicle rammed into a pedestrian without stopping, resulting in a fatality. Also, Silicon Valley tech venture Tesla has seen a number of incidents that include its autopilot system-driven cars crashing due to user error. Unfortunately this all to be somewhat expected with self-driving technology still in its infancy. Now, car companies like Ford and Nissan, as well as tech companies like Google (Waymo) and Uber, are taking this as an opportunity to reassess the technology as well as the strategy to roll things out to the mass public at the safest possible level.
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