AAA Survey Shows Increasing Acceptance of Driverless Cars in the U.S.

Driverless carFewer Americans now embrace the possibility of sharing roads and highways with driverless cars, according to an American Automobile Association (AAA) survey.

The poll showed that 63% of motorists remain uneasy with the thought of using an automated vehicle, down from 78% during the same survey in March 2017. While the present figure remains large, the reduction meant that an estimated 20 million more Americans no longer have a negative perception of the technology.

Driverless Future

Automakers have tinkered with the development of self-driving cars in the recent years, which — as and other industry experts noted — led to an increase in demand for mechanical testing services. The AAA survey’s results bode well for them, as many companies plan to launch limited commercial services by 2019 at the earliest.

Younger Americans comprised the most willing group to try the new technology. This seems unsurprising since most Millennials tend to favor the use of digital innovations for everyday life, with less than 50% showing concern about the risks of driverless cars, according to the survey. Nearly 75% of women remain uncomfortable with the use of a self-driving vehicle, however, while 52% of men share the sentiment.

Slow Adoption

AAA based its findings from surveying more than 1,000 respondents. The improved acceptance rate among them serves as good news, but companies still need to prove the technology’s safety since 51% of respondents only expects to use semi-autonomous technology in the future.

This means that Americans are still cautious about completely placing their trust on a digital network. Still, proponents of self-driving cars have used the latest federal statistics on car crashes as a basis for the technology’s viability. In 2016, drunk driving claimed almost 10,500 lives, while distracted and sleepy drivers caused 3,450 and 803 fatalities, respectively.

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The survey indicates that automakers need to step up their research, development, and mechanical testing projects for automated cars. How about you? What’s your opinion on riding a driverless vehicle?