New Intel Study Reveals People Still Don't Feel Safe Around Autonomous Cars

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【Summary】While 43 percent of respondents stated that they didn’t feel comfortable around self-driving cars, 63 percent of those surveyed claimed that they felt as if autonomous vehicles would become normal in five decades.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 26, 2018 1:00 PM PT
New Intel Study Reveals People Still Don't Feel Safe Around Autonomous Cars

Despite recent attempts by automakers to increase the number of autonomous vehicles on the road and to raise awareness for what modern safety systems are capable of doing, the majority of the public continues to have its reservations about the technology. 

American Consumers Don't Trust Autonomous Cars

Earlier this April, SurveyUSA News polled over 1,100 adults from California and 58 percent of them stated that they didn't believe autonomous vehicles should be allowed in their neighborhoods. Another survey, which was conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) earlier this year portrayed a similar image. In that survey, 75 percent of American drivers claimed that they were afraid to get a ride in a self-driving car. The same survey revealed that only 10 percent of drivers were comfortable sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. 

Now, Intel, a massive technology companies that partnered with various companies to come out with everything from autonomous ships to 8 million self-driving cars with Mobileye, wants to get a better look at the landscape and has come out with the results of its own survey. 

According to Intel's own study, only 21 percent of Americans would trade their current vehicle for a self-driving car. Honestly, that figure is a little high, and Intel doesn't provide a lot of information on what question surveyors were actually asked. Modern vehicles may have semi-autonomous capabilities, but they're not close to being able to drive on their own at the moment. 

So, if the question was something along the lines of, "Would you trade your current vehicle for a current self-driving car," that would explain why it's not more than 20 percent. On the other hand, if Intel asked people, "Would you trade your current car for a fully self-driving vehicle," that could explain why it's relatively high. 

Self-Driving Cars To Become The Norm In 50 Years

Another thing Intel found with its survey was that 63 percent of U.S. consumers believe that autonomous vehicles will become the norm in 50 years. With automakers aiming for roughly 2025 as the date of the release of Level 5 autonomous vehicles, making them affordable for everyone could take some time. Not only that, but getting the public to make the switch will be hard, which means another 25 years sounds about right. 

That last figure also matches Intel's previous study, which predicted that a passenger-forward future would be worth roughly $7 trillion by 2050. 

Still, if your Intel, or another large company looking into developing autonomous technology, the results aren't exactly good. "We must bridge the gap between acceptance of today's automated driving assist features and full autonomy," said Jack Weast, Intel senior principal engineer. "Today, passengers are asked to blindly trust a manufacturer's ‘black box' safety approach. What is needed is for the industry and policymakers to rally around a transparent safety model that builds trust between humans and machines." 

When Intel asked surveyors what they expect to do in autonomous vehicles, they responded in expected ways. Consume entertainment accounted for the most answers with 58 percent. Socialize and Work followed behind with 57 percent and 56 percent respectively. With 33 percent, Host Meetings came in fourth place, while Groom came in fifth with 26 percent. Lastly, Exercise garnered 14 percent of the votes.  

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