Recent Study Shows Drivers Still Fear Autonomous Vehicles

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【Summary】Esurance recently conducted a study to analyze the future of self-driving vehicles. The results show most drivers still aren’t willing to accept autonomous cars, even though the technology can save them both time and money.

Mia Bevacqua    Jul 14, 2018 8:00 AM PT

Self-driving cars will only become commonplace if drivers are willing to give up the wheel. A recent study from Esurance shows many people aren't ready to do that yet, even though autonomous cars could save them both time and money. 

Let go of the wheel, sit back and save cash

According to Esurance (an insurance company backed by Allstate), families could save up to $4,100 annually. All they need to do is give up their personal vehicle and switch to autonomous ridesharing. Naturally, this forecast applies mostly to people living in urban areas where taxi services are readily available.

Additional research from Allstate shows a 20% increase in transportation efficiency could generate a 5% increase in household incomes. Such a gain could be attained by adopting self-driving taxis. Occupants are free to do whatever they please while catching a lift in a self-piloted ride. Industrious individuals can work to save time and make money.  

Owning a self-driving car isn't predicted to be nearly as lucrative as ridesharing. Current autonomous technology is too expensive. But that may change as self-driving cars become common and prices drop. 

Autonomous vehicles fight for acceptance 

To many individuals, the self-driving, ride-hailing future sounds too good to be true. Esurance surveyed 1,000 people and found that 83% had no desire to relinquish the wheel. This reluctance is based mostly on fear and an unwillingness to give up control. 

Esurance also looked at 400,000 tweets about driverless tech to gauge people's acceptance. It found that 17% of these conversations mentioned fear and 20% referred to autonomous cars as "still being in the development stage." 

Not surprisingly, people (aged 18-34) were more likely to go for a self-driving car than those 55 and older. Parents were also eager (60% more so than non-parents) to give up control in exchange for the ability to multi-task. 

Fear of self-driving cars is mostly unfounded. Esurance points out that some automakers are already taking liability for accidents caused by self-driving cars. This acceptance is attributed to faith in technology – and the fact that human error accounts for 94% of traffic collisions.

Source: Esurance 

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