According to a survey performed by Reportlinker, there has been a significant shift in public thinking when it comes to self-driving cars, a.k.a., autonomous vehicles. As a follow up to the company’s 2016 survey, the 2017 survey asks the following questions:
- Are people ready to adopt autonomous vehicles?
- Do they trust these vehicles to be safe?
- What brand are the most popular?
- Would Americans use autonomous public transportation?
Responses to the survey seem to indicate that more than 70% of people say they love driving themselves and will continue to do so. However, automation is consistently oozing into American cars. More than 50% of the respondents have automatic cruise control and 36% have cameras with rear or side views in their vehicles. A slim majority, 53% say they would buy an autonomous vehicle for their next purchase with women (59%) being more likely than men to be willing to buy.
As it should be, safety concerns figure prominently in the survey. On that note, 67% of respondents say they would not feel safe in a self-driving car. Women appear to be particularly reluctant, with 73% of them saying they are worried about safety.
Which One To Choose
Not every car manufacturer has even some of their eggs in the autonomous-vehicle basket, so the field of choices is a bit narrow. According to the survey, Tesla is the top brand mentioned when asked about automated vehicles with 16% of the total, followed by Ford (7%), Google (6%), Chevrolet (6%), and Toyota (5%).
When you think about all the problems encountered with public transportation on a minute-by-minute basis with all vehicles having a driver or conductor, autonomous public transportation might not be such a good idea. The survey indicates 59% of people say they don’t think automated public transportation will happen in the future. Interest in the use of self-driving buses or taxis dropped to 33% compared to 42% last September.
While Millennials remain open to the idea, older generations are less likely to be interested than they were last year, with 72% saying they are not interested in using automated public transportation, compared to 61% in 2016. You can view all the survey results on the company’s website.
Surveys of this nature are very nice, they give people something to read and maybe think about for 21 to 34 seconds. With all the investments in autonomous driving technologies, these vehicles will be available soon, regardless of what surveys may indicate.
It does not matter what people think or want, eventually all cars will be come with the autonomous driving option, and the operative word is option. In the future, car owners won’t have the choice of a car with or without autonomous driving functionality, but they will have the option of using it or not. They can drive or sit back and let no one chauffeur them about. While they’re doing that, I’ll wait for the spaceship that left me here to come back and take me home. ~MD