American Drivers are Concerned with Autonomous Cars Getting Hacked

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【Summary】While the majority of American drivers aren’t interested in purchasing or even riding in a self-driving vehicle, a new report claims that hacking is still one of the things that scares them the most about the machines.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 14, 2017 10:15 AM PT
American Drivers are Concerned with Autonomous Cars Getting Hacked

American drivers aren't sold on autonomous cars and it's easy to see why. The majority of aspects surrounding driverless cars are still up in the air. A recent report that cited an Australian professor claimed that privacy risks are still a major concern for self-driving vehicles. Another large thing that makes autonomous vehicles unattractive are the machines' prices, which are expected to cost between $300,000 to $400,000

In a recent report, the Morning Consult and Politico found that only 22 percent of registered voters in the U.S. believe that autonomous vehicles are safer than human-operated ones, which isn't a good sign for the future of driverless cars. A new report by insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG) reinforces the fact that American drivers are having trouble embracing a self-driving future.  

Self-Driving Cars Aren't That Attractive

According to Automotive News, 1,000 individuals that took part in the survey were almost split right down the middle when questioned on if they felt comfortable sharing the road with self-driving cars. The report claims that 42 percent of respondents stated that they were "generally OK" with the idea, while 41 percent claimed that they "had reservations," citing AIG. Of those that said they were okay with self-driving cars on the road, 39 percent stated that driverless vehicles would be safer than the average driver. 

While those figures are better than the report from earlier this year, they reveal that the majority of drivers are still on the fence when it comes to driverless vehicles. AIG's survey, though, brought up an interesting aspect of self-driving vehicles that others haven't touched upon – hacking. 

Hacking Is A Major Concern

Ever since researchers from Norwegian security company Promon hacked into a Tesla Model S and Michigan doubled down on its penalties for hackers, things have been quiet on the hacking front. Earlier this March, Chinese technology giant Baidu claimed that a group of "hackers-for-hire" attempted to steal the company's autonomous car secrets. Still, scares a lot of drivers in the United States.

Interestingly, 75 percent of individuals that were surveyed stated that they were afraid of hackers remotely taking over their autonomous vehicle. The concern is a valid one, as hackers managed to remotely stop a Jeep Cherokee in its tracks on a highway back in 2015. 

The majority of those surveyed also stated that they don't expect autonomous vehicles to be on the road within the next 20 years, which makes 2020 – the year that the majority of automakers are aiming for – an almost pointless goal. 

Will Insurance Be Cheaper Or More Expensive?

The survey also included a section where 35 percent of respondents stated that they believed that self-driving features could help lower their insurance premiums. The respondents also claimed that liability for an automotive-related accident, depending on the circumstances, would lie with the automaker, driver, or software developer. 

Understandably, insurance companies, as Automotive News points out, have been struggling with the idea of how to deal with insurance for autonomous vehicles. The outlet, citing a report from Morgan Stanley earlier this year, stated that the automotive insurance industry would be flipped onto its head by 2040, as companies that refuse to adapt for driverless vehicles would fall by the waist side. 

"Risk does not disappear – it shifts from humans to machines," said Lex Baugh, AIG's president of liability and financial lines, reports Auto News

Drivers in the U.S. may not be for autonomous cars at the moment, but there's a chance that they'll warm up to the technology as more vehicles are fitted with driverless features. 

via: Automotive News

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