Autonomous Automobile Idea Still Causes Concern

February 18, 2014
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Autonomous AutomobileThe idea of traveling in a autonomous automobile (self-driving) is great. Think about how it would change your morning and evening work commute. Imagine how refreshed you’d be after a road trip if you could relax en route to your destination. This technology exists, and experts believe it won’t long before it’s introduced to the public. For example, Nissan’s goal is to have an autonomous automobile on the road by 2020 – and other car manufacturers like GM are on a similar schedule. But a recent study shows most Americans still have trust issues over the thought of riding in a autonomous car. 

Autonomous Automobile Study

The study was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Seapine Software, and it will be interesting to see whether its findings dampen the excitement of the industry’s haste to get these cars into dealerships.

Nearly nine out of every 10 American adults expressed some degree of worry about riding in a autonomous automobile; in fact, less than one out of eight surveyed said they would be completely comfortable in a driverless car if they were introduced today.

The most obvious question on the minds of most is, Can I feel perfectly safe in a autonomous automobile, or to put it more clearly … would I be putting myself in danger should a sensor or brake software component fail? This is a good question to be sure and 79% had this concern – but it is not the only one that was brought up. Others (59%) expressed concerns about liability, wondering who would be responsible if a autonomous car was involved in an accident. Still more (52%) had questions about someone being able to hack into the software in their vehicle. Others still (37%) had privacy issues, meaning they feared the government or private companies would collect the data on their software and use it for their own purposes.

The Future of Autonomous Automobiles?

Despite the negative outcome of this study, there is no question that the idea of an autonomous automobile is intriguing to most Americans. A study done by CarInsurance.com last November showed that many American motorists would be interested in autonomous vehciles if they were given discounted auto insurance rates. Additionally, a survey done by Accenture in January of this year showed that 90% are interested in the technology itself.

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