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American Drivers Still Aren't Sold on Driverless Cars

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【Summary】According to a poll done by Morning Consult and Politico, the majority of Americans are still wary of autonomous vehicles.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 22, 2017 12:10 PM PT
American Drivers Still Aren't Sold on Driverless Cars

Autonomous technology is a major revolution for the automotive industry. The tech is arguably as big as the invention of the automobile itself and will affect the entire industry. And while the U.S. government has finally taken steps to speed up the production of driverless vehicles, the majority of American drivers still aren't comfortable with self-driving cars. 

The Big Issue Is Trust

According to a report by Morning Consult, which conducted a poll with some help from Politico, only 22 percent of registered voters in the U.S. believe that autonomous cars are safer than the average human driver. Thirty-five percent of those that took part in the poll stated that driverless tech is less safe than a traditional human-operated car. And 18 percent said that a self-driving car is just as safe as a human driver, claims the outlet. 

That, right off the bat, isn't very good. Autonomous cars are being lauded as vehicles that will bring and end to automotive-related fatalities and injures. But, at the moment, the majority of American's don't trust driverless vehicles enough to let them take over. 

According to Amitai Bin-nun, vice president of autonomous vehicles and mobility innovation at Securing America's Future Energy, the figures from the poll shows how important outreach will be before automakers and tech companies unleash the technology on public roads. In an email to the Morning Consult, Bin-nun stated, "these new numbers reinforce the importance of consumers education and outreach, development of public-facing pilot programs and the creation of advisory councils to properly guide the future of this technology." 

Drivers Don't Want Any Part Of Autonomous Vehicles

The most recent survey, which was conducted on September 7 through September 11, 2017, as the outlet reports, are not interested in purchasing, operating, or even riding in an autonomous vehicle. As the Morning Consult reports, a staggering 51 percent of respondents said they were not too likely or not likely at all to ride as a passenger in a driverless car, while 38 percent said they were somewhat or very likely to ride as a passenger. 

That's bad news for companies like Uber and Waymo that are pouring billions of dollars into finding a way to shuttle passengers to their required destination in a driverless vehicle. But the situation isn't much better for automakers or tech companies, like General Motors who believes they could've cracked the code on mass producing autonomous tech, looking to sell autonomous versions of vehicles either. 

According to the outlet's findings, 61 percent of respondents stated that they aren't likely to purchase an autonomous vehicle. And while 33 percent said that they were very or somewhat likely to operate a self-driving vehicle, only 28 percent said they were likely to purchase one. 

While American drivers continue to straddle the fence when it comes to autonomous cars, automakers and technology companies are charging ahead with the tech. Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) believes that it's only a matter of time before drivers accept the new technology. 

"I think, though, if you look at acceptable of those, they depend on age as well," Peters told the Morning Consult. "Younger drivers have a different type of acceptance than you'll have with older drivers. But ultimately, the way that we'll move this forward and win customer acceptable is by demonstrating that the technology works." 

Peters may have a point, as individuals were skeptical about airplane travel when it first came out, but now travel freely in the skies. Acceptance of autonomous cars clearly won't happen over night, but if automakers and tech companies put effort into demonstrating the tech and teaching drivers about the upsides of driverless vehicles, Americans could become more accustomed to the technology sooner rather than later. 

via: The Morning Consult

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