Despite Nationwide Survey, Most Carolinians Leary of Self-Driving Cars

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 24, 2018) – A recent AAA Carolinas survey revealed that 71% of Carolinians are not yet comfortable with self-driving cars, with 29% saying they were ready for a ride in a fully autonomous vehicle.

Across the country, however, drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles. The annual survey reveals that 63 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, a significant decrease from 78 percent in early 2017. Millennial and male drivers are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half reporting they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. To ensure that American drivers continue to be informed, prepared and comfortable with this shift in mobility, AAA urges automakers to prioritize consumer education.

“AAA found that most drivers are very confident in their driving abilities, which may explain some hesitation to give up full control to a self-driving vehicle,” AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright said. “Education, exposure and experience will likely help ease consumer fears as we steer toward a more automated future.”

While riding in a fully self-driving vehicle is a futuristic concept for most, testing of these vehicles in the United States means that sharing the road with an automated vehicle is an increasing near-term possibility. In this situation, drivers remain leery of self-driving vehicles. In AAA’s survey, only 13 percent of U.S. drivers report that they would feel safer sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while nearly half (46 percent) would actually feel less safe. Others say they are indifferent (37 percent) or unsure (4 percent).

Additional survey results include:

  • Women (73 percent) are more likely than men (52 percent) to be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, and more likely to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car (55 percent versus 36 percent).
  • Millennials are the most trusting of self-driving vehicles, with only 49 percent (down from 73 percent) reporting that they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. While the majority of baby boomers (68 percent) still report being afraid to ride in a self-driving car, this generation is significantly more comfortable with the idea than they were a year ago, when 85 percent reported being afraid.
  • Baby boomers (54 percent) and Generation X (47 percent) drivers are more likely than millennial drivers (34 percent) to feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving car.

Although fears of self-driving vehicles appear to be easing, U.S. drivers report high confidence in their own driving abilities. Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of crashes involve human error, three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers. Men, in particular, are confident in their driving skills with 8 in 10 considering their driving skills better than average.

To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency brakingadaptive cruise controlself-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.

AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

For more information on this press release, please contact:

Public Relations Manager
Tiffany Wright
tmwright@aaacarolinas.com
Work : 704-737-8306
Cell : 704-569-7768