Fewer people fear self-driving cars: report
AAA study shows that fear of a self-driving future is dropping fast.
Self-driving vehicle technology has been making headlines in recent years, and the closer it comes to reality, the calmer Americans are getting.
A year ago, nearly eight of every 10 people (78%) feared the arrival of such a reality, and while that has dropped considerably – by about 20 million people – to just 63%, the majority of US drivers are still apprehensive of going along for the ride, according to the latest AAA survey of its members.
The concept of self-driving vehicles is most embraced by millennials and males, for which half are up for riding without a driver, but it may take more convincing to get others on board. Nearly half (46%) of all drivers in the country don’t even want to share the road with a driverless vehicle yet.
Safety is the biggest stumbling block. AAA testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.
Meanwhile, American drivers’ perception of their own steering skills may not fully reflect reality either. The vast majority of them (73%) think they’re better than average, despite the fact that 90% of auto accidents are caused by human error.
Besides the challenge of keeping people safe and persuading public opinion, there are other obstacles to widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles, like ownership and insurance. But here, too, technology is stepping up with innovative new solutions that are redefining the way we drive. A number of automakers are shifting their emphasis from selling or leasing vehicles to all-in-one subscriptions, and Waymo has already partnered with Trov to offer riders of its driverless cars a trip-based insurance policy.
Even if you’re not ready for the driverless revolution, new technology is changing the way we borrow money to buy vehicles and insure our rides. Compare tried-and-true providers with new innovators to get the best-fitting coverage and top value for your money.