If you find yourself warming up to the idea of self-driving cars, you’re not alone. U.S. drivers aren’t as scared of riding in an autonomous vehicle as they were just a year ago, according to a new study by the American Automobile Association. That’s not to say there’s still not some hesitation, but the overall fear factor seems to be subsiding somewhat as more companies like Waymo (shown above), as well as automakers, test the technology on public roads.
More Men than Women Warming Up To Self-Driving Cars
In this year’s AAA study, 63% of drivers reported being afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle. That’s down from 78% in early 2017. Millennials and men are the most likely to trust self-driving tech, while women and baby boomers are more hesitant to embrace the technology. However, baby boomers did take a giant forward step from 85 percent fearful last year to just 68% this year.
“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon said. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.”
Sharing The Road With Self-Driving Cars Is Another Matter
Self-driving cars aren’t totally in the clear yet though with the American public. AAA researchers discovered most drivers remain leery of sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. What’s more, most don’t believe they make the roads safer (which is in the end what they’re designed to do.)
Here are some more specifics of the study:
- Only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while nearly half (46 percent) would actually feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37 percent) or unsure (4 percent).
- Women (73 percent) are more likely than men (52 percent) to be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55 percent versus 36 percent).
- Millennials are the most trusting of self-driving vehicles, with only 49 percent (down from 73 percent) reporting that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. While the majority of baby boomers (68 percent) still report being afraid to ride in a self-driving car, this generation is significantly more comfortable with the idea than they were a year ago, when 85 percent reported being afraid.
- Baby boomers (54 percent) and Generation X (47 percent) drivers are more likely than millennial drivers (34 percent) to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car.
Meanwhile, most U.S. drivers surveyed seem to have no qualms whatsoever about their own driving abilities. 73% of respondents considered themselves better-than-average drivers. Men, in particular, are confident at the wheel, with eight in ten considering themselves better-than-average drivers.
Photo Credit: WaymoTags: autonomous self-driving