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Self-Driving Cars Hit A Speedbump, Interest In Autonomous Vehicle Technology Slows Down

September 18, 2018 Insurance No Comments Email Email

Less than half of Americans (43 percent) are interested in utilizing self-driving cars, down from 53 percent last year, according to the fourth annualSharing Economy Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance. The lack of interest is primarily attributed to safety concerns (71 percent in 2018, compared to 65 percent in 2017), while other reasons include cost/budget, lack of familiarity and bad publicity. Recent high-profile crashes involving self-driving cars have dampened America’s confidence and excitement over auto-piloted vehicles. In March, two self-driving vehicles were involved in fatal accidents.

Even more indicative of Americans’ sentiment on self-driving vehicles, only 52 percent of Americans (down 12 points from 2017) say they are confident that the technology will develop safely enough to consider trading their conventional vehicles for self-driving ones.

Companies continue to invest billions of dollars into autonomous vehicle technology, despite the recent fatal crashes. Supporting these Allianz findings is a Pew Research Center survey which found that 39 percent said they were not sure whether the vehicles would make roads safer or more dangerous, and 87 percent favored requiring that a human always be behind the wheel to take control if something goes awry.

“Based on consumer perceptions, our survey reveals an uncertain future for self-driving cars,” says Dan Durazo, director of communications, Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Many Americans are far from being convinced that self-driving cars can be operated safely on our streets. As our Future of Travel survey last year indicated, more travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving vehicle.” View the Future of Travel survey results here.

Highlights from the survey findings are presented in this video.

Self-Driving Cars
Recently there have been news stories in the media about ride-sharing services (i.e. Uber, Lyft, etc.) concerning safety and the regulation of ride-sharing services. Have these stories made you more or less likely to use these services as a result?
  2018 2017
Much more likely to use 6% 8%
Somewhat more likely to use 6% 7%
No impact 55% 50%
Somewhat less likely to use 19% 23%
Much less likely to use 14% 12%
If given the opportunity, how interested are you in utilizing self-driving/autonomous vehicles (Google, Uber, Tesla Autopilot, etc.)?
  2018 2017
Very interested 17% 22%
Somewhat interested 26% 32%
Not very interested 25% 24%
Not at all interested 32% 23%
What are the reasons for your lack of interest in self-driving/autonomous cars?
  2018 2017
Safety Concerns 71% 65%
Cost/Budget 21% 20%
Lack of Familiarity 23% 21%
Bad Publicity 12% 10%
I’d be interested eventually, but I don’t want to                 be a ‘guinea pig’ 24% 21%
Other 9% 10%
How confident are you that self-driving/autonomous cars will develop safely enough for you to consider using?
  2018 2017
Very confident 18% 23%
Somewhat confident 34% 41%
Not very confident 31% 25%
Not at all confident 17% 11%

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