AAA believes testing, experience and education will aid consumer acceptance

14 March 2019

    Three in Four Americans Remain Afraid of Fully Self-Driving Vehicles
 

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:

Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman, The Auto Club Group,
office (813) 289-5859, cell (813) 244-0815 
MWaiters@AAASouth.com

 

 

Three in Four Americans Remain Afraid of Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

AAA believes testing, experience and education will aid consumer acceptance

 

Atlanta, Ga. (March 14, 2019) — A year after a number of high-profile automated vehicle incidents, American attitudes toward fully self-driving cars have not rebounded. AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey found that 71 percent of people are afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles - indicating that overall sentiment has not yet returned to what it was prior to these incidents occurring (63 percent). AAA believes the key to helping consumers feel more comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles will be bridging the gap between the perception of automated vehicle technology and the reality of how it actually works in today’s cars.

 “Consumers should educate themselves concerning automated vehicle technology to fully understand the pros and cons,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Technology will continue to shape the future of transportation, but motorists still have the responsibility to remain engaged.”

Experience seems to play a key role in impacting how drivers feel about automated vehicle technology. Many cars on the road today are equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are considered the building blocks for fully self-driving vehicles. AAA’s recent survey revealed that regular interaction with ADAS components like lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and self-parking 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.

Even more promising, AAA found that Americans are receptive to the idea of automated vehicle technology in more limited applications. A little more than half (53 percent) are comfortable with low-speed, short distance forms of transportation like people movers found at airports or theme parks while 44 percent are comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles for delivery of food or packages. However, once the passengers become more personal – in particular, transporting their loved ones – only one in five remain comfortable.

“Allowing technology to control your vehicle can be intimidating,” continued Waiters, “but with further testing, safety measures and pilot programs I believe Americans will see the positives of self-driving vehicles.”

Currently, more than half of Americans (55 percent) think that by 2029, most cars will have the ability to drive themselves, however, this timeline may be overly optimistic given the number of vehicles already on the road today. Those who are skeptical that fully self-driving cars will arrive that soon, cite reasons such as lack of trust, not wanting to give up driving, the technology won’t be ready and that 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. The more drivers understand both the benefits and limitations of the technology that is currently available, AAA believes the more prepared and receptive they will be for the experience of riding in a fully automated vehicle when the time comes.

To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to conducting ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies as well as researching how related emerging technologies can help reduce or prevent crashes. Previous research includes ADAS technology naming, testing of driver support systems and the annual automated vehicle survey (2016, 2017, January 2018 and April 2018).

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 percent at the 95 percent 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.

 

If you would rather not receive future communications from AAA The Auto Club Group, let us know by clicking here.
AAA The Auto Club Group, 200 Mansell Court East, Roswell, GA 30076 United States