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AAA: 75 percent of Americans ‘afraid’ to ride in self-driving cars

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Posted at 2:29 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 14:29:07-05

Virginia Beach, Va. – A new survey conducted by AAA says three out of four drivers are “afraid” to ride in a self-driving car.

With the advancement of technology, self-driven cars are becoming increasingly popular. The Roadrunner, a self-driving car created by English auto technology company Delphi, completed a 3,400-mile journey across the United States in 2015.   A police officer pulled over one of Google’s self-driving cars in Mountain View, California and found no one behind the wheel. 

AAA also found that drivers who own cars with semi-autonomous features are more likely to trust self-driving technology.

“With the rapid advancement towards autonomous vehicles, American drivers may be hesitant to give up full control,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “What Americans may not realize is that the building blocks towards self-driving cars are already in today’s vehicles and the technology is constantly improving and well-trusted by those who have experienced it.”

Only one in five Americans say they would trust a self-driving vehicle, but AAA says the demand for that type of technology is high. Around 61 percent of drivers would like to see automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology or lane-keeping assist in their next vehicle.

AAA found the primary motivation for having the features is safety, followed by convenience, reducing stress and wanting the latest technology.

“While six-in-10 drivers want semi-autonomous technology in their next vehicle, there are still 40 percent of Americans that are either undecided or reluctant to purchase these features,” continued Blumling. “It’s clear that education is the key to addressing consumer hesitation towards these features and AAA’s on-going effort to evaluate vehicle technologies, highlighting both the benefits and limitations, is designed to help drivers make informed choices.”

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.