Most people in Kentucky may not have seen many self-driving cars on the roads in their cities but they have likely seen and heard multiple reports about the testing and development of these vehicles. Outside of the Silicon Valley bubble, it is interesting to take a look at just how most Americans are perceiving this advancing technology. Improved safety is touted as a primary reason for the development of autonomous vehicles yet recent research indicates that consumers aren’t quite so confident about their safety in them.
Gizmodo reported this spring that consumer confidence in self-driving vehicles had actually dropped from previous research conducted about a year-and-a-half earlier. In late 2017, 63% of people said they were too scared to ride in an autonomous vehicle. By the spring of this year, that percentage rose to 71%. Some high-profile accidents may well have contributed to the shift.
This summer, the results of a J.D. Power Mobility Confidence Index Survey corroborated the findings. According to Automotive News, this survey ranked confidence in self-driving cars on a zero to 100-point scale. In all, autonomous vehicles received a confidence rating of a mere 36. Among the concerns cited by respondents were fears about technology errors and security worries that the computer systems controlling a vehicle could be hacked.
The survey found 36% of participants indicating they were not at all likely to lease or buy a self-driving car. Another 19% said they were not so likely to do so. Only 11% of people indicated they were extremely likely to buy or to lease an autonomous vehicle.