Shocker: When Autonomous Vehicles Kill, People Trust Them Less

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.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    But Tesla fans always tell us it’s driver error… every time.

    • Jay

      I’m no Tesla fan but I’ll say the same because it’s up to the driver to pay attention until we have “level 5”.

      • brn

        Level 4.

    • Status

      Tesla isn’t the only autonomous game in town.

  • Jason Miller

    Well I don’t trust people because they are worse, so there’s that.

    • Six Thousand Times


    • LeStori

      Yes. Cars are autonomous vehicles with an organic intelligence (OI) operating . The death toll indicates they should be banned immediately.

  • Iberian Rekluse

    In other news, those with lower incomes book fewer vacations to Hawaii.

    • LeStori

      Considering there is a super vulcano in the area, that could be considered a good thing…

  • Craig

    I think autonomous vehicles should be limited to freeway use only for a decade or so.

    • Status

      How would you feel if autonomous cars were permitted to travel at speeds faster than those of ‘manually-driven’ cars on the freeway?

  • sidewaysspin

    And they are killing a lot these days.

    • Status

      Nowhere near as many as those have killed in the last hour by human drivers.

  • f1300

    OT: Shocker: People take umrellas with them when forecast says it will rain!
    Oh, c’mon, please! What’s the news?!

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