In the wake of recent autonomous vehicle crashes including an Uber fully autonomous test car killing a woman pushing a bike, and a semi-autonomous Tesla Model X hitting a concrete divider, AAA conducted another study of the public’s perception of such cars. It’s a follow-up to a study conducted at the end of the past two years. According to the study, Americans distrust autonomous vehicles more than they did at the end of 2017.
Specifically, 73 percent of those surveyed said they would be too afraid to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, which is up 10 points over the last survey. Americans also aren’t comfortable being a pedestrian around autonomous vehicles either, with 63 percent saying they would feel less safe as a pedestrian or cyclist on the road with self-driving cars.
Another interesting statistic is that while millennials were almost split down the middle in whether they would be too afraid to ride in a fully autonomous car in the first survey, they shifted negatively this time around. Instead of 49 percent being too afraid to ride in a self-driving car, the percentage jumped to 64 percent. In previous studies, younger people surveyed had been more accepting of the technology.