Bad News for Business Innovators, Poll Says Americans Mostly Opposed to Self-Driving Vehicles

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Majority of Americans Unlikely to Use Self-Driving Vehicles

The majority of Americans are not comfortable with self-driving-vehicle technology, according to a Gallup survey published Wednesday.

Majority of People in US Unlikely to Use Self-Driving Vehicles

More than 54 percent of surveyed people said they were unlikely to own and use a self-driving car. The survey’s results are not encouraging for companies like Tesla, which is sinking tens of millions of dollars into autonomous technology.

Men and women share an almost equal amount of discomfort with the idea of jettisoning down the road without any control over their vehicle. Half the survey’s men said they would not accept the technology, while 54 percent of women said the same (the poll showed).

There is a silver lining for Tesla — a California-based automaker that sank its treasure in the burgeoning self-driving-car industry. The millennial generation appear slightly more willing to give self-driving cars a shot — 36 percent of people (ages 18-35) said they are likely to take the risk; 41 percent said thanks, but no thanks.

Recent wrecks involving Tesla’s auto-feature have prompted academics to question the automotive industry’s decision to dive head-first into full auto autonomy.

“The expectation of Tesla is that the driver is alert and vigilant, ready to take over at a moment’s notice,” University of Michigan engineering professor Ryan Eustic told reporters last year shortly after a California man was killed when his Tesla slammed into a tractor trailer.

Drivers become bored and place too much trust in auto-driving features, he added. Other analysts have shared similar concerns.

University of South Carolina School of Law professor Bryant Walker Smith devoted his career to studying semi-autonomous technology like Tesla uses. Smith echoed Eustice’s sentiments, telling reporters Tesla owners will likely have to decide between safety and convenience.

Photo via Shutterstock

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4 Reactions
  1. I know people who wish their cars didn’t have so many computers already and they drive 10 year old cars. Giving complete control over will be a hard sell and they have some very valid concerns.

  2. The problem is that it has its shortcomings. It is not as safe. Would you put your baby in one of these cars? No! And you are not even guaranteed that it will reach its destination safely.

    • I agree. While they are great for they are automatic, there are still some shortcomings. It just so happened that these shortcomings are so great that people don’t want to use them.

  3. I think that it is because it is still in the experimental stage. People will not want to use something that doesn’t work. So it must be tested and improved if they want people to adopt it.