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Would You Get In A Self-Driving Car? Survey Shows Most Americans Are Scared

By Donna Bellevue , Mar 15, 2017 05:47 AM EDT
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A new survey from AAA finds that three-quarters of Americans are scared to get in a self-driving car. Only 10 percent said that they'd feel safer sharing the roads with driverless vehicles. However, a surprising 59 percent reported wanting to have some autonomous driving technology in their next vehicle.

The survey came as California proposed on Friday to loosen regulation on driverless vehicles on the roads. Greg Brannon, AAA's director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations, says that while U.S. drivers are eager to buy vehicles equipped with self-driving technology, they continue to fear a fully automated vehicle. The survey provides a significant perspective of the public towards this kind of cars since a great race towards driving autonomy is underway, making several car companies compete to introduce the first driverless cars to our roadways, he adds.

Last year's survey about self-driving cars is no different from this year's as most Americans still feel scared of riding in it. Brannon explains that this might mean that while drivers are keen to have help from technology, they are not yet ready to give up full control. AAA urges the gradual, safe introduction of these technologies to ensure that American drivers are informed, prepared, and comfortable with this shift in style of transportation, the Daily Mail reports.

However, these sorts of surveys of Americans' opinion on self-driving cars should not be given too much credit, Marc Scribner, a senior fellow focusing on transportation issues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, responds. "Most Americans have never actually experienced a self-driving car, whether that's witnessing one in public, let alone riding in one," he adds. According to the One News Now, he believes that unlimited operational design of automated vehicles could still be decades away, but public fear of these technologies will not be sustained over the long run, as people will actually see how valuable this technology can be.

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