Survey Shows Fewer Americans Want AVs

A new survey shows a significant decline in the numbers of Americans wanting to drive autonomous vehicles.

The proportion of respondents to Allianz Global Assistance’s and Ipsos’ annual Sharing Economy Index saying they feel positively about AVs has fallen to 43% this year from 53% last year. As with last year, in the vast majority of cases, those participants expressing negative sentiment toward the vehicles cited safety concerns as their primary reason for doing so (71%, up from 65% in 2017). When asked if recent negative news stories had affected their attitude toward AVs, 55% of people said they’d had “no impact” on them, up from 50% in 2017.

However, just 18% of participants in the poll (down from an already low 23% in 2017) said they felt AV technology would ever be developed to a sufficiently safe level to make them want to use one. This follows a Pew Research Center survey to which 87% of respondents said they felt AVs would always need a human back-up driver ready to take the wheel at any given moment.

Commenting on the survey, Allianz Global Assistance USA director of communications Daniel Durazo said it showed “an uncertain future for self-driving cars … many Americans are far from convinced that self-driving cars can be operated safely on our streets”. Even more damningly, he suggested “more travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving vehicle”.

 


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