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Study Shows 71 Percent of Americans Afraid to Ride in an Autonomous Car

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About one year ago, AAA released a research that showed 63 percent of those surveyed stated they would be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle. Although still high, that figure showed a huge change over the previous year’s poll, which had that figure pegged at a full 78 percent. This year, however, after a series of highly publicized injuries involving automatic prototypes, AAA’s poll showed that the amount of people afraid to ride in an entirely driverless car is up to 71 percent.

AAA also found a few factors that affected people’s relaxation with some amount of automation. The first is vulnerability to contemporary driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Respondents who currently have a car with one of those features were 68 percent more likely to trust them than those who don’t. The second factor involved the technology being applied only in a limited capacity. A total of 53 percent were comfortable with the idea of using low-speed, short-distance transportation like an airport train, while 44 percent said they would be comfortable with autonomous delivery vehicles.

“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, because of this, it is affecting how customers feel about it,” stated Greg Brannon, AAA’s thoughts of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Having the chance to interact with partly or fully automatic vehicle technology will help eliminate some of the mystery for customers and open the door for greater acceptance. ”

Interestingly, the study also showed that 55 percent believe that by 2029, most cars will be capable of driving themselves. As AAA points out, that’s probably overly optimistic. It also probably shows a widespread misunderstanding of how advanced the technology already is. Despite Tesla offering a “Full Self-Driving Capability” bundle , its automobiles can’t drive themselves. And while some prototypes can handle suburban driving in towns with perfect weather conditions, the technology still can’t handle rain, much less snow. We also have yet to find any demonstration of a vehicle that could recover from hydroplaning or loss of traction on an icy street.

Source: AAA

The post Study Shows 71 Percent of Americans Afraid to Ride in an Autonomous Car appeared on Motortrend.

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