Some innovations occur at a faster pace than people are ready to accept. A new AAA survey reveals that this is the case with self-driving vehicles. Seventy eight percent of respondents to the survey said they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving or autonomous vehicle.
Even though self-driving vehicles could prove to be safer and cause fewer car accidents than their human-operated counterparts, a little more than half of respondents said they would feel less safe sharing the road with self-driving vehicles.
Only 10 percent of survey respondents claimed they would feel safer having more self-driving cars on U.S. roadways.
Despite widespread fears about autonomous vehicles, almost 60 percent of respondents admitted that they will seek out autonomous vehicle features in their next car.
The survey also compared fears about self-driving cars by generation and gender:
- More women (58 percent) than men (49 percent) feel less safe with autonomous vehicles on the road.
- Sixty percent of baby boomers said they feel less safe with autonomous vehicles, while just 56 percent of Generation Xers and 41 percent of millennials feel the same.
- Millennials are by far the generation that is most supportive of self-driving cars. Seventy percent of millennial survey respondents said they want self-driving cars.
- A little more than 50 percent of baby boomers and people in Generation X support having self-driving cars on our roadways.
- More than 80 percent of baby boomers said they are afraid of autonomous vehicles.
- About three-quarters of millennials and Generation Xers are afraid of self-driving cars.
Regulation of Autonomous Vehicles
State and federal regulations for self-driving cars might help ease Americans’ fears about this new technology.
There are currently 11 states with laws about autonomous vehicles, including:
- North Dakota
In 2015, 16 states introduced legislation and 34 states have considered legislation related to self-driving cars.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the Federal Automated Vehicles Policyto help guide and accelerate the development of automated vehicles that have the potential to save lives.
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