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AAA reports Three Quarters of Americans are Afraid to Ride in a Self Driving Vehicle

 

Despite fear, AAA survey reveals experience with vehicle technology leads to trust

AAAKnoxville, TN – New vehicle technology has become a major topic among American motorists.  According to a new AAA survey, three out of four U.S. motorists are afraid to ride in a self-driving car. Motorists feel the technology is too new.

In spite of this fear, AAA found that motorists who own vehicles with semi-autonomous features are 75 percent more likely to trust the technology then those who don’t own it.

Three Quarters of Americans are Afraid to Ride in a Self Driving Vehicle

“Consumers should always educate themselves concerning new car technology to fully understand the pros and cons,” said Don Lindsey, TN Public Affairs Director, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “I think the key to acceptance will be the safety features and consumers’ awareness that these features could potentially save their lives.”

AAA’s survey revealed 61 percent of American motorists want at least one of the following technologies on their next vehicle: automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology or lane keeping assist.

Three Quarters of Americans are Afraid to Ride in a Self Driving Vehicle

The survey also revealed motorists who desire these features on their next vehicle attributes this to safety (84 percent), followed by convenience (64 percent), reducing stress (46 percent) and wanting the latest technology (30 percent).

  • Baby boomers are more likely to cite safety as a reason they want semi-autonomous features on their next vehicle Millennials (78 percent).
  • Millennials are more likely to cite convenience (75 percent) and wanting the latest technology (36 percent) compared to older generations.
  • Women (50 percent) are more likely to cite reducing stress as a reason for wanting the technology than men (42 percent)

AAA’s survey also offered insights as to why some motorists are reluctant to purchase advanced vehicle technology. Most trust their driving skills more than the technology (84 percent), followed by feeling the technology is to new and unproven (60 percent), followed by not wanting to pay extra for it (57 percent) and then finally finding it annoying (45 percent).

  • Millennials (63 percent) and Gen-Xers (62 percent) are more likely to cite not wanting to pay extra for semi-autonomous technology, compared to Baby Boomers (49 percent).
  • One-in-four female drivers (23 percent) cite feeling the technology is too complicated to use as a reason for not wanting the technology in their next vehicle, compared to 12 percent of male drivers.

“We must take into account that there are many motorists who still enjoy love to drive versus being driven,” said Lindsey. “Therefore, the safety features in a semi-autonomous vehicle might be more appealing to a driver who is not quite ready to give up the wheel.”

Key Findings

Sixty-one percent of U.S. motorists want at least one semi-autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicle.

  • Millennial drivers are most likely to want self-parking technology in their next vehicle (33 percent), compared to Gen-Xers (20 percent) or Baby Boomers (22 percent).
  • Millennials are most likely to want adaptive cruise control on their next vehicle (45 percent) compared to Gen-Xers (37 percent) or Baby Boomer (34%).
  • Men are more likely to want automatic emergency braking on their next vehicle (42 percent) than women 35 percent).

New vehicle technology is definitely shaping the future of public transportation. AAA will continue to educate the motoring public on the associated benefits and limitations involved with these new features.

Full survey results, including consumer trust and purchase intentions of individual features and infographics can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com. AAA provides free vehicle reviews and localized pricing information at AAA.com/AutoBuying.

About the Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.


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