Autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles have been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently so it comes as little surprise that a study by AAA has found consumer confidence in self-driving technology has plummeted.
According to the latest study, 73% of drivers said they would be afraid to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle. This is a significant jump from late 2017 when only 63% of drivers said they would be afraid. A deeper look into the data reveals 83% of women would be afraid to ride in fully autonomous vehicles, while only 63% of men admitted they would be scared.
Interesting, the number of Millennials who said they would be “too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle” jumped from 49% to 64%. Another surprising finding is the percent of people who said they would be afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle was still below the initial peak of 78% which was recorded in January of 2017.
While the study didn’t specifically mention the fatal accident which killed Elaine Herzberg, AAA laid it on pretty thick as they said “Sixty-three percent of U.S. drivers would feel less safe sharing the road with fully self-driving cars while walking or riding a bike.” It’s worth noting the study was conducted almost two weeks after Herzberg was struck and killed by an autonomous Volvo while walking her bike across the road in Tempe, Arizona.
While a vast majority of those surveyed said they would feel less safe, 26% of people thought it wouldn’t make any difference if they shared the road with autonomous vehicles. A further 9% said they would feel safer.
Despite fears over fully autonomous vehicles, it appears a number of consumers are excited about semi-autonomous driving technology. According to AAA, 55% of people involved in the study said they want semi-autonomous driving technology in their next vehicle.