Published in Transportation

Americans scared of self-driving cars

by on02 April 2019

They are powered by witches and driven by Satan

A new survey of US adults think automated vehicles are more dangerous than current models and nearly two thirds said they would not buy a fully autonomous vehicle.

According to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll about 63 percent of those who responded said they would not pay more to have a self-driving feature on their vehicle, and 41 percent of the rest said they would not pay more than $2,000.

This could be bad news for car and truck makers, delivery companies, technology companies and ride services operators such as Uber Technologies and Lyft. They are all chucking a lot of cash into developing self-driving vehicles and related hardware. Knowing that their customers are too scared to get behind the wheel of their product is a bit of a downer.

The findings are similar to those in a 2018 Reuters/Ipsos poll. They are consistent with results in surveys by Pew Research Centre, the American Automobile Association and others. In March 2018, after the 2018 Reuters/Ipsos poll, an Uber vehicle operating in self-driving mode struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.

To be fair, few US residents have seen or ridden in a self-driving vehicle, but that does not stop them having an opinion about the concept. After all, many think the world is flat and that the national socialists were communists.

The long and short of it is that once Americans see that self driving cars are not going to take their guns away they should settle down and trust them a bit more.

Dan Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California said: “At the moment, those responses are largely based on zero knowledge and zero experience, so it’s mostly a visceral reaction to something they read about, like the (2018) Uber crash in Arizona."

Two thirds of survey respondents said self-driving cars should be held to higher government safety standards than traditional vehicles driven by humans.


Last modified on 02 April 2019
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