Survey: Public Increasingly Apprehensive About Autonomous Vehicles
ATLANTA, GA. – August 16, 2018 (autonews.com) Public apprehension regarding autonomous vehicles is steadily increasing, according to a recent survey. The survey results are reported online by autonews.com.*
SAE International recognizes five levels of autonomy in automobiles, with Level 1 involving minimal driver-assistance features and Level 5 involving zero human control. Level 5 vehicles have not yet been developed, but these would have no steering wheels, no pedals, and no modes for human intervention whatsoever.
In a recent survey of 1,250 consumers by Cox Automotive, almost 50 percent of participants indicated they would never buy a Level 5 vehicle. This represents a 30 percent increase from two years ago, when about 20 percent of 2,264 people surveyed said they would never buy a Level 5 vehicle. Between the two surveys, public awareness of autonomous technology is up (by 24 percent), but consumer confidence in the safety of autonomous vehicles has dropped.
The number of people who indicated they believed roads would be safer if all vehicles were autonomous decreased by 18 percent. Only 16 percent of people polled in the most recent survey said they would be comfortable with having no way to intervene in the driving of an autonomous vehicle. Eighty-five percent said they thought people should always have the option to drive themselves.
Most of the apprehension is likely fueled by a pedestrian fatality crash earlier this year in Tempe, Arizona. In March 2018, a self-driving Uber vehicle crashed into and killed a woman while she was walking her bicycle across the street. But despite the setbacks in public support, industry leaders expect to see nothing but gains in the presence of self-driving cars on America’s roads.
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