Self-Driving Cars Have Some Americans Fearing the Future

Do you fear self-driving cars?

Remember when the idea of cars that could drive themselves was only in science fiction movies? Now that the technology is becoming more prevalent, Americans may be seeing more self-driving cars on the roads in the next few years thanks to Uber and other major vehicle manufacturers.

For all the progress that the automotive industry is making to get fully autonomous vehicles out on our streets, the majority of U.S. drivers are still fearful of the technology. New reports make it clear they may have good reason to be wary.

But first, let’s get an idea of how the general public really feels about self-driving cars with a few conflicting views below from AAA.

Cool technology, but not for me…

  • Three quarters of U.S. drivers are afraid to ride in a self-driving car. The idea sounds great (more efficient, safer vehicles, way more convenient) but real-life applications seem a little scary to most people.
  • Only 10 percent of people claim they’d feel safer if driverless vehicles were on the road.
  • Women are more likely to feel less safe than men on roads with self-driving cars.

Actually, driverless cars could be the way to go…

  • Strangely enough, the majority of U.S. drivers actually want autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicles as long as it works correctly.
  • Millennials—70 percent of them—are most likely to want the technology in their cars.
  • Eight out of 10 drivers feel like any kind of autonomous car system should work the same way, no matter what vehicle manufacturer is featuring it.

The debate is still out among Americans as to just how safe driverless cars will be. Most of the fear seems to stem from having a lack of control over the vehicle. Drivers have gotten used to driving their own vehicles like they always have, so change is always a little frightening.

AAA has found that drivers who already have their own vehicles outfitted with autonomous driver technology are 75 percent more likely to trust the technology than those who don’t have it yet (think cars that can parallel park for you).

Uber and Its Self-Driving Cars

Uber has been at the forefront of the self-driving car game, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride for the technology.

  • Uber has self-driving cars out and about right here in Pittsburgh, along with Arizona and San Francisco, but these cars had to be temporarily pulled off the road after an accident in Tempe.
  • Despite no serious injuries, the accident happened when another car failed to yield to the Uber car while it was turning.
  • Uber wanted to err on the side of caution to properly investigate, so the cars were halted for at least a day.

With lots of advancements happening with Uber’s technology, it’s still not perfect. It’s been reported that Uber’s self-driving system steadily increased the number of miles driven autonomously. Since March, 43 active cars on the road nationally have logged a total of 20,354 miles.

Sounds good, right?

Despite the increased number of miles driven, Uber is still working out a few kinks related to the rider experience. Human drivers are still having to take over for the computer system more often than they did back in January.

Whether you’re for or against driverless cars, safety on the road is still key as this new technology grows. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we value helping our community stay safe on the road.

Become a member of Snyder’s Drivers to stay up-to-date on driving safety and have the chance to win prizes. You can even take our Safe Driving Pledge for more chances to win.

Since 1982, we’ve helped fight for the rights of car accident victims. If you, or someone you love, were seriously hurt in a car accident, call us today for a free case review.