14 March 2019

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:

Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, The Auto Club Group,
(813) 288-7906 office, (850) 532-0730 cell,
MAJenkins@AAASouth.com

 

AAA: 3 OF 4 AMERICANS - AFRAID OF SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES

AAA believes testing, experience and education will aid consumer acceptance

Downloadable Content -- Sound Bites / Fact Sheet

 

TAMPA, Fla., (March 14, 2019) – AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey found that 71 percent of people are afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles. Consumer concerns increased from 63 percent early last year, following multiple high-profile incidents involving autonomous vehicle technologies.

“Self-driving vehicles are still new to many Americans, so it’s no surprise that people become fearful when something goes wrong,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA believes that additional testing and more first-hand experience for consumers will help them gain a higher level of trust in the technology.”

Many cars on the road today are already equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are considered the building blocks for fully self-driving vehicles.

ADAS components include:

  • Lane keeping assistance
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Self Parking

AAA’s recent survey revealed that regular interaction with ADAS components significantly improves consumer comfort level. On average, drivers who have one of these four ADAS technologies are about 68 percent more likely to trust these features than drivers who don’t have them.

Will Most Cars Be Self-Driving by 2029?

Currently, more than half of Americans (55 percent) think that by 2029, most cars will have the ability to drive themselves. This timeline, however, may be overly optimistic given the number of vehicles already on the road today.

People who doubt fully self-driving cars will arrive by 2029 cite reasons such as:

  • Lack of trust
  • Not wanting to give up driving
  • The technology won’t be ready
  • Road conditions will not be good enough to support the technology

While experts agree that a fully self-driving fleet is still decades away, it is likely that more highly automated vehicles will be on the roads in the coming years.

Will Self-Driving Cars Be Safer?

Although the automotive industry believes that fully self-driving vehicles will eventually be safer than the vehicles we drive today, AAA says it’s still too soon to tell.

AAA supports the continued advancement of technologies leading to the development, testing and use of safe, automated vehicle systems and believes these systems have many potential benefits, from dramatic reductions in crash-related injuries and fatalities, to significant increases in convenience and mobility.

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Research

Previous research includes ADAS technology naming, testing of driver support systems and the annual automated vehicle survey (2016, 2017, January 2018 and April 2018).

Survey Methodology
A telephone omnibus survey was conducted January 10-13, 2019. A total of 1,008 interviews were completed among adults, 18 years of age or older.

A dual-frame approach was used that combined landline and cell phone interviews to ensure that adults who only or primarily communicate via cell phones are included and properly represented. Survey responses are weighted by six variables (age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, education, and landline vs. cell phone only) to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total continental US population, 18 years of age and older.

The margin of error for the study is 4% at the 95% confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger error margins.

About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.8 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.