Autonomous Cars: Are You Ready to Let Go of the Steering Wheel?

Published on January 18, 2018, by Matthew Sharp

Car Accident

Autonomous Cars: Are You Ready to Let Go of the Steering Wheel?

Although autonomous cars have received a lot of positive publicity from the automotive industry, studies show that over 50 percent of American drivers are not ready to buy them or even ride in them as passengers due to safety concerns about accidents and injuries.

Americans are Uncertain About Autonomous Cars

While one-in-five people report positive reviews of driverless vehicles, approximately 66 percent report mixed reviews because of the unknown, operational safety problems. Public surveys conducted on the future of autonomous cars show that at least 54 percent of drivers express major safety concerns for driverless vehicles that may result in roadway injuries and fatalities.

Public surveys on autonomous vehicles have been conducted in 17 countries including the United States, Japan, China, South Korea, India, and Germany. Surveys examine consumer attitudes and concerns about self-driving cars. Consumers from all countries expressed safety concerns related to driverless car features including powertrain systems, braking systems, fuel systems, and cockpit technologies. Many consumers expressed concerns about the additional costs of driverless features and the willingness to pay for them. Since 2014, interest in fully autonomous cars has risen slightly in China and the U.S., but has remained flat or declined Japan, South Korea, India, and Germany.

Autonomous cars are already on the road in Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, but they’re restricted to specific test areas and driving conditions to promote safety and prevent car accidents and injuries. Driverless vehicles offer a variety of potential benefits including reduced traffic accidents, pedestrian-friendly city environments, and increased mobility for disabled and elderly drivers. On the flip side, they pose significant economic challenges for the millions of Americans who are currently employed as public service drivers for people and products.

Since most Americans express doubts that machines could ever replace human drivers, there is a lot of skepticism about the future of autonomous cars in the near future. The main concern is about auto safety issues and lack of control, but some drivers express concerns about hacking possibilities. Other drivers say they simply enjoy the physical act of driving and don’t want to give up that pleasure to an autonomous car.