In a new AAA survey, 68% of drivers this year are more fearful of riding in a self-driving vehicle than the 55% reported in 2022.
The survey found there are a lot of misconceptions about autonomous vehicles, including the perception that an operator can sleep behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle. Adrienne Woodland, a spokesperson for the car club said, “We did not anticipate such a drastic shift in consumer concerns from past years.”
Even though the majority of new vehicles come with some kind of advanced driver assistance technology, at this time, there are no vehicles available for purchase that would allow an operator to completely disengage from the task of driving. AAA notes that social media recordings of drivers abusing driver assistance technology may be to blame for the idea.
Additionally, the poll revealed that consumers are confused by the names manufacturers have given their vehicle systems. 22% of Americans believe autonomous driving systems with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT, or Pilot Assist can operate a vehicle independently without human intervention.
Nonetheless, the survey found that American customers are not entirely opposed to modern automobile technologies. Six out of ten drivers stated they would “certainly” or “probably” want features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot detection in their future vehicles.
According to AAA, a probability-based panel selected to be representative of the whole U.S. home population was used to conduct the poll online and over the phone from January 13–17, 2023.